Meet Marina Barham (Global; 2018 ISPA Fellow)
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Meet Marina Barham, co-founder and General Director of Al Harah Theater in Beit Jala, Bethlehem, who's mission is to producer theater that is well crafted yet moving, challenging yet accessible and, essential, honest. We caught up with Marina to learn about her journey and future aspirations! Hear it directly from her:
Tell us about what you’re up to in your current role?
As a Palestinian woman managing a theater company I work very hard to use theater to create positive change in the society and make a difference in the life of people especially women, youth and children. Al Harah has achieved a lot during the last 13 years in terms of inclusion, social change and empowering women and youth through theater. We also organize Palestine International Children and Youth Theater Festival every two years.
What were you doing before your current work that led to this?
I was working for seven years as the Assistant Public Information Officer at UNRWA serving Palestinian Refugee rights and issues. Then after a TOT with the Mawred Resource and the European Cultural Foundation I became one of the first trainers in cultural management in the Arab world who participated in writing the first Arabic Manual in Cultural Management to be published in Arabic. I have been training in cultural management for more than 13 years in the MENA Region and some European countries.
What do you specifically hope to contribute to the global field of the performing arts in your career?
I do hope to be able to encourage and influence people working in performing arts to express their views on issues related to injustices happening in the world bluntly without fear and to be able to take positions towards other people in the world through their creative work. I aspire to build new partnerships with countries in Asia and in Latin America where we have so much in common.
What is your favorite part about working in this field?
My favorite part of working in the field is seeing the eyes of young people who have experienced the impact of performing arts on their lives, especially women. Witnessing the impact of performing arts on creating positive change in our communities and empowering youth.
What was the impression of your first congress?
I was overwhelmed by the number of fellows who were there and their achievements on the global level. Got inspired by some of the speakers who were selected for the congress. I was proud of our work despite all the challenges we face being under Occupation.
In 2018, ISPA brought 49 Fellows from around the world to the New York Congress. We know it's impossible to meet all these emerging leaders so we're highlighting the 2018 Fellows in features via the members-only monthly Network and on the website.