Before the war I was a child… But after the war I discovered I am not the child anymore, and the Gaza, unlike all cities of the world, doesn`t have children in it.
A fragment of Mah mud's Monologue (born in 1994) - a participant in the 2011 edition of Brave Kids.
The Gaza Monologues is an emotional journey through the experience and perspective of children who fell prey to the war in the Gaza Strip between December 2008 and January 2009. 22 days of the so called Operation Cast Lead organized by Israelis and aimed at elimination of Hamas members and destruction of the organization’s infrastructure led to the death of 1300 people, 431 of whom were children. Those who survived have to cope with the trauma and live on the isolated strip of land with the highest population rate in the entire world. The Gaza, Monologues is the initiative of ASHTAR Theatre. It was conceived in 1991 in Ramallah by an actress Iman Aoun and was meant to promote creativity and give voice to those who are refused it and to trigger social transformation in this way.
On the sessions held in the first three months after the war, the children focused on expression of their pain, dreams, hopes and fears by the use of dramatic techniques it. (following the ideas of Augusto Boal - Brazilian director of the Theater of the Oppressed) and creative writing, The effort led to the conception of the Monologues - a theatrical biography of 30 children. The first performance was held in the morning of 17 October 2010 at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea: Gaza children floated their monologues as paper boats. They sent to the world the stories about bombs that killed their families, about destroyed houses, broken electricity pylons and lack of food. One child recollects how they came back home to take the beloved teddy bear and another how a grandma was hurriedly looking for false teeth during gunfire. This is why at the heart of The Gaza Monologues lie emotions and reality as seen by children rather than politics.