LEBANESE DRAMA THERAPIST PRESENTS AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE OF ‘SCHEHERAZADE IN BAABDA’
Zeina Daccache, an international award-winning Lebanese director and drama therapist, will premiere a one-off screening of her self-revelatory play, Scheherazade in Baabda, on Saturday 23 March in Australia, in association with the Arab Film Festival Australia (AFFA) and Australian Arab Women’s Dialogue.
The film screening will commence at 7.00 pm at the Information and Cultural Exchange in Parramatta, and is free to the public. A Q&A discussion session with Daccache will follow the screening.
As a community-managed cultural event, the Arab Film Festival Australia showcases stories from Arabic-speaking peoples to diverse Australian audiences through film, reflecting the complexity and diversity of Arab experiences. The Festival engages Australian audiences, to develop a more complex understanding of the diversity of Arab cultures, histories and stories. The Festival also provides a platform for emerging, developing, and established Arab-Australian filmmakers to present their films to broad audiences in New South Wales and beyond.
With its monologues and short scenes, Scheherazade in Baabda gives voice to fifteen Lebanese women inmates, who recount their stories of violence, patriarchy, family, and responsibility. The play was first performed in Lebanon’s Baabda Prison in 2012, with funding from the Swiss Drosos Foundation, as part of a drama therapy program for the rehabilitation and empowerment of incarcerated communities.
Daccache, founder of ‘Catharsis for drama therapy’, hit the headlines in 2009 with her groundbreaking production, Twelve Angry Lebanese, an adaptation of a play by Reginald Rose performed by 45 inmates from Roumieh Prison. The play’s documentary won a host of international prizes and was also screened at the AFFA.
While in Australia, Daccache will also represent Lebanon at the inaugural Australian Arab Women’s Dialogue, alongside other leading women from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. The Arab women, who come from diverse backgrounds, will explore women’s participation in contemporary developments during expert round-table discussions and tailored individual meetings. The Dialogue aims to strengthen relations between Australia and the Arab world and improve understanding of women’s role in emerging democracies.