63 Days of Sit-In – Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
Director, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
Resource Development Coordinator
In October 2021, amid the pandemic, people with disabilities in Palestine initiated a movement to administer their right to have a just and an inclusive health insurance. 63 days after their sit-in in the Palestinian Legislative Council under difficult circumstances, the social movement of people with disabilities were able to realize their first goal of providing an inclusive health insurance for the people with disabilities. “63 Days of Sit-In” is a project that aims to creatively document and reflect on the powerful experience of the movement led by people with disabilities in Palestine. A series of talks and workshops with people with disabilities from the movement will be conducted, followed by a collaboration with artists and activists to participate in intensive workshops to conceptualise and implement the project. The main output will be a creative documentation of the sit-in, through an artistic recollection of visual and auditory material, which will be accompanied by a story-telling performance. The work will be presented live to the public and will be filmed later-on. Collectively, KSCC with the leaders of the movement, brought this idea to life, with a shared belief in this project’s capability of providing an added value to the field
“63 Days of Sit-In” aims to provide a space for people with disabilities to share their expertise with the community, raising awareness, and reactivating the topic of the right to have an inclusive and just health insurance to people with disabilities and to all. We believe that documenting a powerful experience and strengthening the partnerships and networking with the movement and its extended community, will allow us to spread their messages in different forms and to reach a wider audience, which will on the longer run force governments to act. This project and collaboration is of great importance not only to reflect on the experience but to also follow up on the current situation, and further understand and discuss the challenges and obstacles from the perspective of the people with disabilities themselves.
Overall, this project is relatable to the objectives of the Disability Under Siege Network, as from our previous work with the movement and perceiving the circumstances of the sit-in, we believe that this is a historical event to the people with disabilities in Palestine and it provides a realistic and field-view of the situation and context. The documentation and the reflection on the movement will provide researchers on the topic of disability rich material that will help further understand the Palestinian context for people with disabilities. Moreover, it is intended that throughout the project we provide a space for knowledge and expertise exchange with the community, which we believe can also be inspiring to the youth and to other movements and artistic collectives.
Through the period of the sit-in, KSCC with the collaboration of Basta Theatre collective, was able to closely observe the experience, and supported the initiative to work on employing artistic interventions to address socio political issues. In this project, we also aim to strengthen the collaborations that have been already built and work more collectively on ways of giving arts a socio-political layer to increase its impact on the people, and to spot the light on issues people with disabilities are faced with in Palestine.