The Freedom Theater attacked

    The Freedom Theater is a theater that works in a refugee camp in Jenin on the occupied West Bank in Palestine. They are on their way to Norway at the end of the month, where one of their planned stops is at the Karlsøy Festival in collaboration with CrotonicX, Nordic Black Theatre, Ferske Scener and Noor productions. They are now affected by the brutal attack on Jenin and the refugee camp there. And the Karlsøy Festival wishes to express our solidarity with the population of Jenin in general and The Freedom Theater in particular. We hope that, despite the horrific attack, it will still be possible for the theater to visit the Karlsøy Festival. At the same time, we fully understand that they have far more important things to take into account in the situation they are in now.

    'The Freedom Theater organizes both local and international theater festivals and has received numerous awards for its social and artistic work. They use theater as a peaceful and cultural weapon against the occupation. Both in that the theater is a platform to tell the world about what is happening in Palestine, and in that they use the theater concretely, both socially and culturally in daily life in the refugee camp. The theater organizes both local and international theater festivals and has received a number of awards for its work.

    The Freedom Theater introduces the residents of the refugee camp, and especially the young generation, to theater and drama, as important tools for dealing with the difficult everyday life during the occupation. At the same time, they run several professional training programs with the aim of building up a stage with professional competence in theatre, drama and applied theater in the Palestinian refugee camp. In addition to building a professional stage under extremely difficult conditions, they work with children and young people to give them an opportunity to have a break from everyday life, and create a different reality through theatre.

    Image taken from The Freedom Theatre's website

    Early on Monday morning, the Israeli army entered Jenin and carried out an attack in which between 10 and 20 Palestinians were killed and many more wounded. The Freedom Theater was also attacked. The Israeli military has destroyed the entrance to the theater and kept a family with elderly people and children confined in the building overnight until Wednesday. They have also arrested the theatre's technician Adnan, who according to the plan is to go to Norway at the end of the month. Currently, no one knows what has happened to him or where he is.

    The Karlsøy Festival strongly condemns the attack on Jenin and the Palestinian population there. We ask the Norwegian government to put pressure on the Israeli government to ensure that Adnan, who has been invited to Norway in just a few weeks, is released and can continue his cultural work at The Freedom Theatre.

    We share here a statement given by the Freedom Theatre, today 5 July.


    1. The Israeli army blew the entrance of The Freedom Theater at approx. 02:00 this morning. They took the Naghnaghiye family to the theater stage including the father of the 14-year old Sadeel who was killed by the army last week, and Adnan, the technical manager of The Freedom Theatre. They locked the entire family including elders and children inside the theater and interrogated them there. Some members were held until the late morning.

    2. Adnan was taken by the army and there is no further news on his status.

    3. The road outside the theater has been destroyed and all people living in the surrounding neighborhood have fled to Jenin, the area is empty of people and much of the infrastructure is damaged.

    4. A TFT staff member and her mother are locked inside their apartment by soldiers who have confiscated it. They have taken their mobile phones and they have no way of communicating at this point.

    5. It is impossible to enter the camp to verify or gather information. All roads to the camp are closed by the army. Mustafa tried to enter this morning but was unable.

    6. Further information on TFT, if the theater has been damaged, things stolen, etc. is impossible to know at this stage

    We also encourage everyone who has the opportunity to support The Freedom Theater in the situation they are in now. This can be done, among other things, by contributing to a splice created by Vibeke Harper from Contradictions, who have been central to making it possible for the Karlsøy Festival to be able to invite The Freedom Theater to Norway and the Karlsøy Festival. Click on the image below to get to the splice. There you will also find more information about the Freedom Theatre.

    Artistic director Tobasi in front of the entrance to The Freedom Theatre
    Pictures taken from artistic director Ahmed Tobasi's Facebook page