A Letter to Mustafa Sheta, Freedom Theatre

A Letter to Mustafa Sheta, Freedom Theatre

A Letter to Mustafa Sheta, Freedom Theatre

Dear Mustafa,

We are BEATS (British East and South East Asian Theatre and Screen). We wish you a belated Eid Mubarak and hope that you are well.

It’s been nearly 6 months since your unlawful imprisonment by the Israeli government.

That’s half a year that could’ve most importantly been spent with your family, your loved ones and friends. Half a year of repressive regimes attempting to silence the voices of Palestine that you, Zakaria and your team have brought to life through spoken word and stage, continuing the legacy of Arna and Juliano.

The Freedom Theatre thrives on, across the world with theatre houses and a countless amount of productions and workshops highlighting Palestinian artists, determining to be heard and seen. They would make you proud. Their works are powerful, raw and beautiful, leaving their audiences moved and growing by tenfold.

Despite attempts to cut off Palestinian led events and protests, the world refuses to back down. Media outlets led by authorities constantly belittle and try to silence those fighting against the genocide.

War machine factories in the U.K. allow workers to slither through the frontlines of anti genocide protests, major peaceful demonstrations are deliberately reported smaller than they are in numbers (one march in London with a 750,000 attendance rate was reported as a 350,000 ‘hate march’ on national news)

Our governments try in vain to suppress the opinions of marginalised groups who speak out against the genocide in Palestine.

Recently an American Asian actor lost their job in a theatre production, just because they were wearing a Keffiyeh. A well known theatre house in London was reported to mainstream press because one of their artists and audience spoke out in support of Palestine.

This is only the tip of the iceberg but every move made to silence these artists have been met with resistance.

Over seventy works from artists were withdrawn from a Manchester art venue after it canceled an event for Palestinian poetry and stories.

The backlash from both artists and venue subscribers was overwhelming, showing solidarity for Palestine.

What authorities don’t realise is that unlike before, the world is more than capable to collaborate and understand what’s going on beyond commercialised smokescreens- especially societies with a history of facing discrimination.

We see right through the bullshit. We empathise, we feel and we know. And that is because of companies like The Freedom Theatre.

We know that everyday you spend unjustly imprisoned you witness many more stories around you that you wish were not true. We hope that one day you can share them, to remind us of the injustice. Of the brutality against humanity. Of the imbalance of power, utilising racism and wealth from clueless rich nations to dehumanise non White lives. To remind us and future generations this should have never happened nor ever again.

We know that you already do, but please stay strong, Mustafa. And we hope to hear from you again soon, insyallah.

From all of us at BEATS.

Lucy Sheen - 周麗端 actor/writer

Joy Muhammad Arrow - writer/activist

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