Thursday, November 16, 2006

back to Afghanistan...briefly

From an email from Joanna 8 November 2006:

We have been meeting amazing people and organizations and seeing such great programs. Spent six days with Banglanatak in Calcutta and they are really fantastic! We are coming back with a lot of DVDs of their work! We had a great meeting of a a director and his students in his country side studio. It was this cool little space with 360 degree view to the farm fields beyond. No electric but a nifty space to work during the days. We hope to use this space when we return.

We were unable to secure visas for the Exile Theatre team, who need an official letter of invitation to join us in India. So far it has proved too hard to successfully traverse all of the official nuances that involve official papers, willing hosting organizations, and speed. So, we have decided to make a quick trip to Kabul to meet with Exile, and to solidify our plans and intentions with Kabul University. We have to tell the University that we will most certainly repay their kindness over the last four years and come back to work with their actors, but in the meantime we hope one of their actors will want to join us on this India project. We will also meet with Gul Makeshah of the Kabul National Theatre while we are there, and the FCCS (the French cultural organization).

All the groups we've met with are totally into our coming. Pravah wants us to help them setup their Theatre In Development Program, the salaam baalak trust is doing this amazing work with the street kids by the RR station, and we will be visiting the Islamic universities (Jamia Millia and Aligargh) in the next two weeks. Maybe one of their students will join our team too!

We must continue to write for support for going to Afghanistan. A few letters showed dismay and a belief that we were giving up on Afghanistan. I had to write them right away and say - No! We are going to come back! We're just doing something in India TOO!

We're excited about doing tandem programs in both neighboring countries, and hope that we can take what we learn in India and bring it to Afghanistan. How perfect would that be !?!

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