Upcoming Openned Event, October 2009

Openned have scheduled another reading event which will, as usual, take place at the Foundry, London.

The rest of the event is not so usual, and will form a benefit event for the Lajee Centre, Bethlehem.  Details below are from Openned’s Facebook event for the evening, and describe the plans as they currently stand.  Anyone who is interested in this event should check Openned’s website and ought to subscribe to them on Twitter:



From the Openned’s Facebook event:

Openned is a poetry reading series. www.openned.com

The information about the next Openned is as follows:

I recently came back from a 2 week trip to the West Bank organised by Lajee Center. Lajee means refugee in Arabic.

The center is a non-profit registered Palestinian NGO working with refugee children and youth in Aida Refugee Camp, near Bethlehem, Palestine.

The Lajee Centre in Bethlehem is a Palestinian led centre for refugee children that focuses on project-based work, encouraging children to develop their personal skills and overcome the fear and disruption caused by the constant presence of the illegal Israeli occupation.

The people of the camp, 4,500 to 5000 strong, live along the apartheid wall, surrounded by Israeli Defence Forces in watchtowers and are in constant danger of administrative detention (meaning a Palestinian can be held for 6 months without charge) and shootings by the IDF.

The occupation effects everyone within the camp, but Lajee focuses more on the children of the camp (50 per cent of the Camps population) who will be the future builders of a Palestinian state; from photography projects, courses on human rights and politics, activism to drama therapy.

A group of volunteers has, over the last two weeks, been building a playground for the children of the centre.

The children have nowhere to play in the camp as the wall (illegal nder international law) divides them from all the green spaces, which have been annexed to Israel.

The person who owns the land won’t give us the land, or even reduce the price, meaning we need to raise a large amount of money to help buy it; 200,000 euros, to be precise.

With 34 international volunteers in 2009 working on the project, and with your help the figure isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

Openned’s part in this effort (www.openned.com) will be to hold a benefit reading for the center to try to raise money for the project.

The provisonal plan is to start a night at 7:15 p.m, and to split the night into three sections, with the middle section of the night being given over to describing the land project in detail and to talk about our experiences in the camp and in the Westbank.

We will project some of the childrens photographic work
and some of our own photographs. There will be many books on sale. We will also read some diary/blog enteries made out there and some poetry that was written while in the camp.

Before this and after we will have a big poetry reading 10 to 20 poets each reading for about 3 minuites each.

The event will be held inside a photographic exhibition of life in Palestine going on at the Foundry at the same time.

Poets to be announced, flyer to come, details of where one can make online donations is to come.

If anyone wants to donate some books to sell at the night there will be a proper book table at which we will sell them, all profits going to the center.

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