It is September of 2012, at a hostel in the center of Medellin, Colombia. I am writing my graduate thesis after a year in London at the Central School of Speech and Drama. I skype with a colleague who is volunteering for The Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Palestine. She is teaching voice for their acting program and mentions that once her time is up, they want to continue to have voice training.

“Are you interested in going to Palestine for three months?”

My gut says yes. But I know I cannot afford to volunteer.

I know little about The Freedom Theatre. Part of my desire to go is precisely that—that I don’t know—that I would learn something new. The Freedom Theatre offers to pay me a stipend equivalent of what Palestinians earn. They offer to pay my travel and housing during my stay as well.


While preparing for the trip I learn that The Freedom Theatre works towards creating an artistic community in the northern part of the West Bank. They offer a space in which children, youth and young adults can act, create and express themselves freely and equally. They offer a chance for young people to imagine new realities, challenge existing social and cultural barriers, and bring positive change to their community. I read about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. I read fiction and nonfiction. I try to prepare myself, but the truth is that even after reading articles, novels and essays, I still don’t really understand what the conflict means.

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