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"Her Story Is: performances and presentations" : U.S. & Iraqi women's multi-disciplinary art collaboration

When: Friday, June 15, 2018, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Atlantic Wharf • 290 Congress Street • Boston
Her Story Is

performances and presentations

co-presented by
Fort Point Theatre Channel (FPTC),
The Joiner Institute for the Study of War
and Social Consequences (UMass Boston),
the Odysseus Project,
the Center for Arabic Culture,
and partners in Iraq

June 15, Seaport District, Boston
June 24, Arts at the Armory, Somerville

(Basic information)

Her Story Is : performances and presentations. An evening of theater,
poetry, visual art, and music; artistic results from a yearlong
collaboration involving U.S. and Iraqi women artists.

Presented by Fort Point Theatre Channel, the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social
Consequences, the Odysseus Project, the Center for Arabic Culture, and
partners in Iraq.   Free and open to all. For more information: <> ,
617.750.8900,  <

Sunday, June 24, 7:00-8:30 pm. Arts at the Armory, 191
Highland Ave., Somerville 02143. Free and open to all. For more information: <> ,
617.750.8900,  <

Further details on the events scheduled for June 15 and June 24 (refer to
<>  for

This June the Her Story Is (HSI) project presents theater, poetry, visual
art, and music emerging from a collaborative multidisciplinary exploration
among women artists from Iraq and the Boston area. HSI celebrates common
ground among the artists in both countries, while acknowledging profound
cultural and political differences. The presentations cap several years of
programming, research, and exhibition between artists and scholars from Iraq
and the Boston area.

The artists in the project have worked together for the past year,
communicating electronically and meeting at a five-day workshop in December,
2017. At that time, three of the Iraqi artists met with four Boston-area
artists in Dubai, a location accessible to both groups. Joining them were
three translators who were full participants in the workshop, including Amir
Al-Azraki, an Iraqi-Canadian scholar, playwright, and cofounder of HSI.

In Dubai, the artists offered intensive sessions for one another on their
disciplines, while also telling deeply personal and moving stories about
their lives and work. All were women whose lives had been shaped in
different ways by war. For example, Nadia Sekran, a translator and a
researcher, defined herself as "an Iraqi woman and survivor of three wars":
the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War, and the 2003 American
invasion of Iraq.  Jennifer Jean, a poet from Peabody, MA, spoke about being
the daughter of a Vietnam veteran. The project participants laughed, cried,
and began mapping out ways in which they would work together once the
workshop was over.

On June 15 and June 24, HSI will present a program of painting, video,
poetry and a play with music at two Boston-area locations. This new work
reflects the collaboration that began a year earlier.

The evening will include 10 presentations, including new works by Iraqi poet
Hana Ahmed and Boston poet Jennifer Jean and a staged reading of a new play
co-written by Amy Merrill in Boston and Elham Nasser Al-Zabeedy in Iraq.
Also featured will be videos from the workshop by Boston filmmaker Lillie
Paquette, art from Iraq by Maryam Mohsen, Thaira Al Mayahi, and Elham
Al-Zabeedy, and commentaries by several projects participants.

An exhibit at Atlantic Wharf, June 7-22, will include art by several of the
Iraqi women in the project, including the remarkable work of Al-Zabeedy, a
visual artist, activist, and president of the Lotus Women's Cultural League
in Iraq, one of the HSI cosponsors. Anne Loyer, a Boston-based artist
committed to visual storytelling and a coordinator of HSI, is organizing and
curating the exhibit.

The presentations in Boston and Somerville parallel public events in Iraq
this spring and coming up later this year. And the women expect to continue
their work together, overcoming barriers separating their nations.

What energizes the women to keep going with the collaboration -- emails,
Skype calls, and meetings -- is their commitment to the use of art to
promote dialogue and understanding between people who have been separated by
geography and war. The Dubai workshop and the events in Boston aim to
achieve what the governments of Iraq and the US have not yet accomplished:
mutual respect and understanding.

Her Story Is represents the current phase in an ongoing collaboration among
Fort Point Theatre Channel, UMass Boston's Joiner Institute for the Study of
War and Social Consequences, the University of Basra, the Center for Arabic
Culture, the Odysseus Project, playwright Amir Al Azraki, and the Lotus
Women's Cultural League in Iraq.

--submitted by marycurtinproductions (on behalf of FPTC)
c/o Mary Curtin
PO Box 290703, Charlestown, MA 02129
617-470-5867 (cell),
"dedicated to staging insightful entertainment, particularly in
non-traditional venues"
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