Ellipses is a member of the Marappachi Collective in Chennai, India, and Batticaloa Justice Walk in Sri Lanka. This performance of Gaza Mono-Logues was undertaken in response to the ASHTAR Theatre’s most recent Global Call for solidarity with Palestine. Ellipses speaks in Tamil with a Sri Lankan dialect, the language of a people who lived through decades of civil war and continue to bear that burden. All monologues are in Tamil first, followed by English.
I am currently in a cold country. I got help from a friend to read out the monologues. I tried to read them out in public showing a little of where I am. This place is not at all conducive to any acts of support for the people of Palestine. So I found a few corners of empathy and other spaces and read the monologues there. These were not public shows.
I am anonymous and my face is covered due to the pressures on my life from various nation states, none of which want me to exercise my democratic right to express solidarity. But I also cannot remain quiet and so this is the middle ground I am able to find. I am an actor. Have been for most of my life. In the freezing cold, however, there was little skill I could bring to the monologues and I apologize for that. I worked with whatever bare minimum assistance I could find by way of someone to video it. I did find some fancy mics to borrow and so the sound is good!
All limitations aside, I hope you can hear in my voice, see in my eyes, that I stand with you as a human being, and as an artist, and an activist who is also working in a post-war context. I wish for all of you at ASHTAR that you are able to keep making art and that our art nourishes your souls and those of all that your art touches. And I want to remind you, what you already know, they can try as they may, but we are here to stay — to sing, to speak, to dance. For each tree they cut, a thousand seeds are planted. There is no such thing as a “dead tree” in a forest! And we will be here with our bodies as our tools, creating peace, screaming justice, and speaking the truth, always trying to, even in the midst of unspeakable horror.
I stand with you and give you my voice, my tears, and my everbreaking and rebuilding heart. You are not alone. We see you. We hear you. We feel you.
In response to the recording, Ellipses received the following response from ASHTAR Theatre:
We are honored to receive your Gaza Monologues submission. It is heartbreaking to know that there are countless lives affected and taken by the ongoing conflicts. Thank you for your humanity and solidarity.
Together, we shall save our humanity.
Below, we share ASHTAR Theatre’s solidarity call to read, perform, translate, and share Gaza Monologues along with a powerful message from from Iman Aoun, the theatre’s Executive Director:
Dear Global Gaza Monologues Readers,
We are deeply touched by your truly global responses to the Gaza Monologues Call by ASHTAR Theatre; we wholeheartedly acknowledge your countless messages, hard work and creative solidarity. Although we all aim to read the Monologues on Nov 29th, this is just the beginning.
Please, listen to the special message from Iman Aoun, the Executive Director of the ASHTAR Theatre and creator of the Gaza Monologues.
REGISTRATION OF READINGS AND PERFORMANCES:
Use this form to register your initiative and expand our global solidarity network.
GAZA MONOLOGUES GLOBAL COMMUNITY: Join our Whatsapp Global Community for the Gaza Monologues Readers
GAZA MONOLOGUES GLOBAL TRANSLATORS: If you can translate the Gaza Monologues to another language, please join our Whatsapp Community for Translators. This way we continue widening the access to the text.
THE GAZA MONOLOGUES TEXTS:
Gaza Monologues 2010 and the New Monologues 2014 texts translated to various languages, can be accessed on the Gaza Monologues website. Please, follow the link.
We continue updating the website with more translations as they come.
In lieu of copyrights purchase of The Gaza Monologues, please support our psycho-social program in the West Bank: Global Giving