Acclaimed Playwright to Sail on Women's Boat to Gaza
Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Naomi Wallace has been selected by the International Women's Boat to Gaza to represent the United States on the Women's Boat to Gaza, scheduled to launch in fall 2016.
Photo of Naomi Wallaceby Gregory Costanzo
Wallace has written over 17 plays, including The Fever Chart: Three Short Visions of the Middle East. She is co-editor of Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora. Her work has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kesselring Prize, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award and an Obie Award. She is also the recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. Wallace has taught at a number of universities including Yale and UCLA.In explaining why she wanted to be a passenger on the boat, Wallace said:
"The collective venture of the Women's Boat to Gaza is an act of defiance against the criminal incarceration of and frequent acts of war against an entire population, the majority of whom are children. I am a playwright. It's both my duty and inspiration to engage with and attempt to expose systems that diminish us, like occupation, racism and brutality."The Women's Boat to Gaza seeks to challenge the Israeli military occupation and naval blockade of Gaza, which has been deemed a form of collective punishment and a violation of international law by the United Nations and human rights groups.It is also intended to show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people, particularly the women. Wallace will be joined by nearly a dozen women from other countries. The Women's Boat to Gaza was launched at the invitation of civil society within Gaza.Colonel (Ret.) Ann Wright who has traveled on previous flotillas notes:
"We are thrilled to have Naomi accept the invitation. The United States is a major provider of the weaponry that Israel has used on civilians, including those in prior flotillas. It is critically important for us as Americans to support Naomi and the other women as well as to encourage our elected officials to do the same."In her acceptance, Wallace highlighted the historical "clouds of witness" that influenced her:
"In the spirit of revolutionaries like Angela Davis, Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer, Anne Braden, and, more recently, the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as in opposition to the tax dollars given by the United States to the state of Israel, our small boat stands for our commitment to solidarity with Gaza and Palestinians everywhere."
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