LACE Productions and Yazda Press Release: Tuesday 2 August 2016
For immediate release
Nadia Murad in Toronto in support of the arts and activism and to inspire Canadian action to alleviate the suffering of the Yazidi people.
Nadia’s visit comes as Toronto premieres the first live performance about the Yazidi genocide on August 4th.
A significant and unique story will be unfolding in Toronto this week.
Nadia Murad, advocate for the Yazidi people (a persecuted ethnic and religious minority in Iraq), Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, and survivor of ISIS sex-trafficking, will be in Toronto in support of the arts and activism this August 4th-7th.
Nadia is coming to support and attend The Unbelievers, a play by Hannah Rittner and the first live performance about the Yazidi genocide. The play will premiere in Toronto August 5th-14th at the BMO Incubator Theatre (1115 Queen St W) as part of the Summerworks Performance Festival. Opening night revenue will be donated to Yazda, a global Yazidi organization dedicated to supporting the Yazidi people in the aftermath of the 2014 genocide.
On August 6th, Nadia will speak at Theatre Meets Activism— an event co-produced by LACE Productions (The Unbelievers) and The Koffler Centre of the Arts. Nadia, Hannah Rittner (LACE Productions Creative Director), and Rozin Hanjool (Head of Women’s Outreach at Yazda) will partake in a conversation with Rachel Browne (VICE News) and the general public. Using issues raised in the play as a springboard, the speakers will discuss the crisis of the Yazidi people and how Canada can help, giving Nadia the platform to continue the dialogue she began during her July visit to Canadian Parliament.
Context & Background
Her visit is timely as this Wednesday August 3rd 2016 marks the 2nd year anniversary of the Yazidi genocide, recently declared as ‘ongoing’ by the UN Security Council. On August 3rd 2014, fighters for the so-called ISIS invaded villages in northern Iraq, massacred the men and formally introduced systematic sexual slavery of Yazidi women and girls. The Yazidi genocide has resulted in the death of three to five thousand civilians; the abduction of five to seven thousand individuals; and the displacement of 400,000 people from the Yazidi homelands. Over 3,200 Yazidi women and children are still held captive by ISIS and subjected to almost unimaginable horrors.
In December 2015, Nadia spoke at the UN Security Council’s first ever session on human trafficking and has since been meeting with heads of state worldwide seeking justice and assistance for her people. On July 19th 2016, Nadia testified in front of Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. She then spent the following week meeting with Canadian members of parliament and department officials, activating a direct call for government to take immediate action in support of the Yazidi people.
In a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, Nadia wrote, “I am immensely grateful for the people and government of Canada. We are so grateful for your approach to the international crisis, especially in our region of Northern Iraq. The meetings we had showed us that Canada wants to help us, and that actual steps can be taken to help our community and other vulnerable minorities in Iraq who are affected by Daesh.”
Both the play, The Unbelievers, and the event where Nadia will be speaking and answering questions, Theatre Meets Activism, is open to members of the press provided they coordinate with our team so that we can reserve a seat for them. Seating at both venues is limited.
Otherwise, Nadia is available for interviews to discuss her experiences on August 4th, 5th and 6th.
Contact: Ashley Peoples, Development & Advocacy, LACE Productions
Telephone: 347-633-4197 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org