In a show of solidarity with Palestine, Malaysian artists recently staged The Gaza Monologues, featuring readings of selected works by victims of the Palestinian genocide.
The event last Friday (8 December 2023) was live-streamed on Amnesty International Malaysia’s Instagram and aimed to encourage more artists to support the signing of a peace for Palestine memorandum.
In 2010, following intense attacks and conflict in Gaza, Ashtar Theatre issued a call resulting in 31 powerful monologues written and presented by youths who experienced these events firsthand.
Now, a renewed call urges the world to revisit these monologues, inviting global readers to stand in solidarity with Palestine and take action to end the recent atrocities in Gaza.
The Malaysian staging of The Gaza Monologues responded to this call, organized under SEA Artists, Creatives, and Cultural Activists for Peace, Stop Genocide in Gaza Memorandum.
The chosen monologues included those by:
Ehab Elayan, born 1994 – Actor, Married
Amjad Abu Yaseen, born 1993 – Actor, Married, Lost his house
Fateema Abu Hashem, born 1996 – No information available
Mahmud Abu Shaa’ban, born 1996 – In Dubai, Lost entire family
Sami El-Jerjawi, born 1994 – No information available in Gaza
Yasmeen Abu Amer, born 1996 – In France, Works for Mercy Corps
Ali Abu Yaseen – Actor/Director of Ashtar Theatre, lost 6 family members
Marina Tan, Ghafir Akbar, Fiona Lee, Charles Roberts, Mia Sabrina Mahadir, Anitha Abd Hamid & Imri Nasution performed the monologues in consecutive order.
Amirah Redza conveyed thoughts through dance, placed between Charles Roberts’ and Anitha’s monologues. The Gaza Monologues opened and closed with a special appearance by Art Fazil, presenting his latest single ‘Free Palestine (Stop the War)’.
The SEA Artists, Creatives & Cultural Activists for Peace, Stop Genocide in Gaza, are also seeking artists’ endorsement for a memorandum. It demands ASEAN nations halt economic ties with Israel until Gaza is safe and Palestinians are shielded from military attacks.
They urge ASEAN leaders to pressure the USA to stop funding Israel’s actions in Palestine. Immediate needs include medical aid, psychological support for war-affected children, open borders for essentials, protection of vital sites, and secure channels for funds to rebuild Gaza through credible charities.
To date, more than 700 artists across acting, theater, music, and visual arts have endorsed the memorandum. Notable signatories from Malaysia include Bront Palarae, Beto Kusyairy, Sofia Jane, Sharifah Amani, Jo Kukathas, Lim Soon Heng, Faiq Syazwan Kuhiri, Orang Asli activist Shaq Koyok, and Sabah-based artist Yee I-Lann.
Noteworthy organizations supporting the cause include Yayasan Afdlin Shauki, Moro Records Musica, and Buku Fixi.
If you’re an artist or arts and culture organisation, you can show your support for the peace for Palestine memorandum here.