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Free theatre performance: Speak Truth To Power

By: Meta House Posted: September-12-2011 in
Meta House

CIVICUS: Center for Cambodia Civic Education s the partner of the Speak Truth To Power (“STTP”) project of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (“RFK Center”) in Washington, D.C. Taking cue from the Italians, the STTP is translated as Courage Without Borders into Khmer.

Kerry Kennedy, the president of the RFK Center, visited Cambodia with her daughter Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo and STTP director John Heffernan in February 2011 and joined CIVICUS Cambodia president Theary Seng to launch the STTP program the during two-day events at Pannasastra University.

They were joined by diplomats, senior government officials, teachers, human rights defenders, students, the media, among others in the packed auditorium, with wide print, radio and television coverage all over Cambodia.

Speak Truth to Power is a multi-faceted global initiative that uses the successes and experiences of selected human rights defenders from around the globe as educational materials. The project began with a book of the same name by Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. It portrays the stories of over fifty courageous human rights defenders fighting for various crucial human rights issues from female genital mutilation to freedom of religion and reconciliation and justice.

In searing and uplifting interviews, veteran human rights defender Kerry Kennedy examines the quality of courage within women and men who are dramatically changing the course of events in their communities and countries. Imprisoned, tortured, and threatened with death, they speak with eloquence on subjects for which they have been willing to sacrifice.

The book is accompanied by a photo exhibition designed by Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Eddie Adams. Every month since March, photographs of eight to ten human rights defenders have been exhibited in the small gallery at Meta House. During the whole month of September, the full photography exhibition is featured in the main gallery of Meta House (Tuesday to Sunday, 10AM – 10PM).

In 2000, the play Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark was adapted from the book and written by Ariel Dorfman, Dorfman (born May 6, 1942) is a renowned Argentinean novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist. A citizen of the United States since 2004, he has been a professor of literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina since 1985. His play “Speak Truth to Power: Voices From Beyond the Dark” chronicles the struggles of fifty human rights activists including Vaclav Havel, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, and more than 30 individuals who have devoted themselves to human rights including Juliana Dogbadzi, who liberates African girls bound for sexual slavery.

The play has been staged in theatres across America and around the world, including Geneva, London, Helsinki, Athens, Madrid, Rome, and Sydney. It was first performed in Cambodia in February 2011 by the Phnom Penh Players for Kerry Kennedy and staff of the Robert F Kennedy Centre at Pannasastra University.

Please be our guest for another three performances at Meta House on Sept. 13, 14 and 21. Performances start at 7PM. Entrance is free.

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