The word SAOT means sound in Arabic. The sound of Palestine has been silenced since 1948, when Palestinians were forced to live under the threat of dispossession and survive within the conditions of enforced displacement. The disappearance of most Palestinian archive materials and historical narrative, as an existing nation of own culture, language and heritage. The sound of Palestine simulates the physical characteristic of sound forces. It forever intertwines ist appearances and disappearances, simultaneously, in the process of creating a sonic event.
Berlin has always been a hub for cultural and political activism. People from West Asia and North Africa have arrived in Berlin with fraught stories. Having made experiences in the wake of the past years in which they revolted in manifold waves of discontent and demanded freedom and dignity. There is a real thirst for a thriving cultural and artistic life that mirrors the languages, roots, and newly created practices of people from the WANA region. Within this wider picture Palestinian communities in Berlin, the biggest in Europe, are completely marginalized from the city’s cultural life, politics and public spaces. The collective space is further disrupted by the locally enforced fragmented geographies of Palestinian communities worldwide.
SAOT – The Palestine Solidarity Festival confronts the efforts of undoing these injustices and contributes to the decades-long battles manifested through resistance and art. As struggles for justice, in a strongly networked globalized world, are intersectionality intertwined and our identities are shaped by one another, a festival that centres around solidarity reconnects the mutual longing of the diverse diasporic communities in Berlin.
What we want
SAOT – The Palestine Solidarity Festival in Berlin is an initiative that wishes to transcend the Palestine question beyond the usual boundaries, discourse limitations and restrictions usually exercised upon it in the mainstream German Culture and Media Landscape. Thus, the festival creates a time and space where Palestine can be discussed, so it can be informed about as a contemporary political issue that holds emancipatory potential and decolonial power. Our aim is to refocus the Palestine question on people while breaking through the walls of exceptionalism imposed constantly on this question.
By creating a platform for Palestinian artists to present their art as well as historical Palestinian culture, we share and celebrate our identities with the Berlin community and initiate a collective space for Palestinians to reconnect. SAOT – Palestine Solidarity Festival extends this space for queer artists, films, literature and people to raise the question of what queer theory and Palestinian liberation share, a defining resistance to elimination and an enduring commitment to not getting rid of their own issues. As such, queer politics is and can certainly become a decolonial practice, just as decolonisation has a clear kinship with queer dissident resistance.
When and where
SAOT- the Palestine Solidarity Festival will take place in Berlin from June the 3rd to June 26th 2022 at various locations across the city such as Oyoun, Al Berlin and the Centre Français de Berlin.
What we do
The events in this festival cover four main categories:
- Music: The festival will present and merge different musical genres. This combination does justice to the musical and geographical diversity of historical Palestine. In an act of solidarity, musical contributions from artists from other parts of the world will be presented.
- Film: A selection of films by international and Palestinian filmmakers will be shown. These films revolve around the Palestinian cause and intersectional anticolonial topics.
- Art: The exhibition ‘Eine Heimat mit uns’ aims to visualize variable homes through memories and relics that you have brought with you, lost or had to leave behind. For the realization of this exhibition, we ask you migrants, regardless of their origin, to share their experience with us by sending us a picture of such an object that is meaningful to them and explaining the special meaning of this object with a short text. These items are intended to represent an interpretation of the abandoned homeland. Regardless of whether this home was or is a dream or a nightmare for them. The various objects carry multiple experiences with them, with which we want to present a vision of these homes. A vision that may one day become reality.
- Discussions and Talks: The festival will present a series of discussions and talks that take a critical and timely perspective on the Palestinian question within the local-German context, the wider perspective of global order and intersectional struggles. Cooking events, book exhibitions, Tatreez workshops, theatre performances and literary events will complement the festival activities.
Who we are
We are a collective of Palestinian artists and activists in the diaspora, who aim to mobilise around the culture and politics of the Palestinian question and intersectional struggles.