Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The double life of a human rights activist/performer

So whilst I would imagine most folks who are producing and performing a show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe are knee deep in preparations, rehearsals, press and marketing ploys, I am spending two weeks in Montreal, Canada helping to run the first ever Video Advocacy Institute run by WITNESS, the organisation I work for. Over 30 human rights defenders from around the world have gathered here to learn how to film, edit and use video and other technologies as a strategic tool to enhance their human rights advocacy campaigns, using the power of visual imagery to bring about change. It's an amazing group of people and the course is going really well. So from morning to night, I am wrapped up in this workshop, and carrying out lots of TV, radio and press interviews about our work. So in some ways, it's probably a good thing that I don't have time to worry about the fact that in a week's time my show opens at the Pleasance Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe. On the other hand, it's hard not to be a wee bit concerned that I am not able to rehearse the play, contact press and sort out all the technical challenges that I'll be facing to make sure I get this show on the road. I am lucky to be surrounded by a bunch of wonderful friends and family who have been helping me out. And it reminds me of course that ultimately I am doing this show because I believe in the human rights work, and not because I am seeking to be the Fringe Queen of Scotland, although wouldn't that be sweet?

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