Orijit Sen visited Palestine as part of an initiative with Jana Natya Manch, Delhi, and The Freedom Theatre, Jenin, earlier this summer.
The idea was to make people-to-people contacts on a significant scale, to establish friendships at a real human level, to speak the language of art not diplomacy, to exchange creative ideas, and to learn from and celebrate each other’s struggles.
Unlike in many apparently peaceful countries, where art hovers on the edges, performing mostly as a distraction for the wealthy, art in Palestine is often out in the streets, highly politically charged and constantly challenging and inspirational. He felt deeply honoured as an Indian to have been able to participate in the making of three public art pieces within Palestine – two in collaboration with school-children, in the villages of Fasayil and Attuwani, and one on his own outside the Freedom Theatre in Jenin.
Palestine makes him feel hopeful not only for itself but for the world at large. He says- “It seems to confront us with the most troubling questions, but it also has the most powerful answers.”
He will talk about these experiences of the occupation as an everyday lived reality and the sheer indomitable spirit of the Palestinians, nurtured in the course of their long struggle.