The Art and Soul of the Matter
David Oddie, actor, educator, founder at ARROW Programme and INDRA Congress (Reconciliation through Art), UK
Workshop 2,5 hours
Part of the 2018 ATHENS GREECE INTERNATIONAL THEATRE/DRAMA & EDUCATION CONFERENCE
organised by the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network (TENet-Gr)
The story of Ahmed Khatib: In November 2005 twelve- year old Ahmed Khatib was playing in the narrow streets of Jenin refugee camp, the West Bank, where he lived. He was shot by Israeli soldiers whilst on a raid into the camp and died later in Haifa hospital. Despite their profound grief, his parents, Ismail and Abla, agreed to donate Ahmed’s key body organs for life saving surgery, without prejudice. Four Jewish and two Muslim families benefitted. Two years later Ismail set out on a journey to meet the recipients of this extraordinary gesture. This culminated in a profoundly moving meeting with the father of one of the beneficiaries, who had originally expressed his unease about receiving help from an Arab family. The workshop uses the concept of ‘the past that lies before us’, as developed by John Paul Lederach in his book, The Moral Imagination, to explore issues and implications arising. John Paul Lederach defines the Moral Imagination as the capacity to imagine and generate creative and constructive initiatives from within a setting of violence that transcend that violence and sow the seeds of breaking the patterns that sustain it. In that book he also describes how he, as an experienced mediator, increasingly found a way forward through seemingly intractable conflicts when he found himself ‘thinking like an artist.’ The workshop is addressed to students of the arts, conflict, the humanities or community participants and audiences.
David Oddie after working as a teacher and actor David founded what is the current Plymouth Barbican Theatre Company. In 1999 he was invited by the now University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth to write and teach a BA programme for drama in the Community and in 2004 he established the ARROW programme, (Art: a Resource for Reconciliation Over the world). In 2006 David became a National Teaching Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy. In 2010 David left UCP Marjon to set up an independent social enterprise company, the Indra Congress. Indra Congress is a global network of young people, artists and others who share a commitment to developing the arts as a unique resource for working with young people and their communities in settings and situations of conflict. David has been working in collaboration with Al Harah Theatre in Palestine, ARROWSA in South Africa Durban, Study Hall Foundation in India and other partners over the past 14 years.