Jen Marlowe
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Jen Marlowe

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States
Band Comedy


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Does art merely reflect a deeply damaged world, or can it inspire change? Jen Marlowe, director, author, and human rights activist, explores this question with audiences or classes made up of playwrights, filmmakers, visual artists, activists, students and others.

She first discovered the power of art as a tool of activism while doing peace and justice work in Palestine and Israel. Crossing the border with a video camera, she taped messages from Palestinian youth in the West Bank and Gaza and showed them to youth in Israel, who would record messages in response. As time went on, the video dialogue project evolved from the participants using the camera to talk to each other, to using the camera to document their realities and to challenge their counterparts on the other side to work to change it.

As part of a three-person team, she traveled to Northern Darfur and Eastern Chad to make the documentary film Darfur Diaries: Message from Home and wrote the accompanying book, Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival, which is included in the 2007 volume of Best American Non Required Reading, edited by Dave Eggers. Since then, she traveled to South Sudan to film another documentary, Rebuilding Hope

Jens background in theatre finds its way in her current work as well. She is writing a play and a book about Palestine and Israel and is on the board of directors of Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre, a theatre project in the Jenin Refugee Camp in the northern West Bank that grew out of the documentary film Arnas Children. Her lecture/workshop includes voices of other activist-artists whose work has inspired her, from Suheir Hammad to Rachel Corrie. Throughout the talk, Jen will explore the role of the media in determining what messages we receive and whose voices we have access toas well as how art can challenge that, forcing all of us to challenge our pre-conceived assumptions.

Jen Marlowe will inspire her audiences to create or seek out creativity that fuses artistry, activism and solidarity into beautiful, troubling and ultimately inspiring works that challenge us to change our world.