Marian Partington

Marian Partington is an English writer, the sister of Lucy Partington, abducted by Fred and Rosemary West on 27 December 1973 and murdered by them in the final days of 1973 or the first days of 1974. In May 2012, she wrote about the impact of Lucy’s life and death in her memoir, If You Sit Very Still; the book builds on Salvaging the Sacred, an essay written by Marian and published in The Guardian Weekend in May 1996. The essay inspired a play, by Bryony Lavery and a feature film, directed by Juliet McKoen, both entitled Frozen. In April 2012, prior to the publication of her memoir, Marian was interviewed in the Financial Times magazine. In November 2012 the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, cited If You Sit Very Still by Marian Partington as one of his books of the year in the Times Literary Supplement. In 2004, Partington’s story was featured in The F Word exhibition, she works as a storyteller, in schools and prisons, for The Forgiveness Project, a charitable organisation which explores forgiveness and conflict resolution through real-life human experience.

Partington has forgiven one of her sister's killers, Rosemary West, but she did not reply and got the prison where she is serving a life sentence to tell Partington she doesn't want her to write again. In contrast though, Partington exchanges Christmas cards with one of Fred West's daughters, West's younger brother, got in touch with Partington when she wrote to him, saying he hoped something good could come out of all this evil. Marian is a Buddhist. Partington, Marian. If You Sit Very Still. Vala Publishing Co-operative. ISBN 978-1-908363-02-2. If You Sit Very Still, by Marian Partington The Forgiveness Project Vala Publishing Cooperative Review of If You Sit Very Still in The Guardian, 04/05/2012 Marian Partington speaking on the BBC World Service 21/05/2012 Sentimentalizing Serial Murder, Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal, 2012/22/4 Article on BBC Gloucester News, 14/05/2012 Marian Partington speaking on BBC Radio 4's Midweek, 16/04/2013 Review of If You Sit Very Still in the Sunday Express, 03/06/2012 Review of If You Sit Very Still in the Oxford Times, 19/06/2012 Interview on BBC Radio Scotland, 01/07/2012 Marian Partington speaking on BBC Radio Ulster Rowan Williams cites If You Sit Very Still by Marian Partington as one of his books of the year in the Times Literary Supplement

Syrian cultural caravan

The Syrian Cultural Caravan is an artistic and cultural movement led by Syrian artists. Started in 2014 as a project called "Freedom for the Syrian People", it took the form of a road trip, taking off from France and continuing across Europe. In face of the success met in 2014, the project became a movement entitled the "Syrian Cultural Caravan"; the project aims at bringing a wide diversity of artists together around a multi-format exhibition mixing paintings, dance, film screenings, as well as debates and the sharing of food. The goal of the project is "to promote Syrian civil society and contemporary Syrian art and culture" by debunking the public's expectations. Artists create a platform for debate on which they can offer their own narrative to counterweight the mainstream narrative of the media; the Syrian cultural caravan started its road trip on July 12, in Paris. It drove to the South of France, to Italy and ended up in Brussels on September 28, 2014. With 14 different stops and more than 6,500 km, the project encountered great success, thus encouraging the artists to make another road trip in 2015, travelling another 10,000 km and performing in another 11 places.

The cultural caravan has events planned for the summer 2016. The cultural caravan started its adventure on July 12, 2014. To celebrate the departure, it had organised a performance cancelled due the weather, in la Cartoucherie de Vincennes, in front of the Théâtre du Soleil, its first stops were in the Gard Region, where it performed in 9 different towns: Fons-sur-Lussans, July 15, 2014. Lussan, July 16, 2014. La Lèque, July 17, 2014. Mèze, July 18, 2014. Avignon, July 19, 2014. Mucem in Marseille, July 21 and 22 2014. Bonnieux, July 23, 2014. Saint-Amant-Roche-Savine, July 25, 2014 for the Belle Rouge festival, Lyon July 26 to 28 2014; the Cultural Caravan crossed European borders to Italy and Germany: Milan, August 2, 2014. Berlin, August 7, 2014, it came back to the North-East of France and stopped in two cities: Strasbourg, August 22 to 23 2014 Metz, August 25 and 26 2014. The tour ended in Brussels Fine Arts Centre on September 28; the caravan came back to Paris and participated in the Bastille Quartier Libre festive on October 11.

On the whole, it travelled across four countries, organised 17 events in 14 different cities and villages, including 15 exhibitions, three poetry recitals, five drama recitals, three conferences, nine film screenings, two dance performances. In face of the great success met during the tour of summer 2014, the Syrian Cultural Caravan reorganised a road trip for spring and summer 2015, based this time on the various invitations to perform they had received from cities and art centres. In the spring, it travelled to northern Europe. Bergen, May 29 to 31 2015. Artists performed for an event mixing music and culture, they had been invited by the Knipsu. The event was supported by the Freedom of Speech Foundation in Oslo. Pulheim, June 4 to 7 2015, it performed for the Fair of Contemporary Art organised by Art’ Pu:l. Bochum, June 9, 2015, on the invitation of the organisation Ifak. In summer 2015, the Caravan started its summer road trip in Paris at Le Point Éphémère on July 18, they performed again in the Parisian cultural alternative centre on July 19, took off for the Gard Region: Ales, July 23, 2015.

Uzès, July 26, 2015. Montclus, July 30, 2015. La Lèque, August 6, 2015. La Roche Canilhac, August 8, 2015. Saint-Julien-les-Rosiers and Barjac, October 16 and 17 2015. In September, it crossed the border again to go to Barcelona; the Syrian cultural caravan presents a polymorphous exhibition, which mobilises different media, in a variety of exhibiting places, includes artists of diverse backgrounds. A wide diversity of media are used by the Syrian Cultural Caravan; this includes visual arts, such as photographs. But the exhibition comprises dance and music performances and film screenings. Debates are an important part of the exhibition, as well as a meal prepared by the Caravan and shared with the public; the Syrian cultural caravan reaches out to different artists to create this multi-format exhibition. It brings together painters, photographers, as well as actors, film-makers, writers and musicians; the artists are versatile: not only do they create, but they are the technical staff of the exhibition and set up the exhibition themselves.

They manage the contact with the media and are present during the whole day of the exhibition to explain and answer the public's questions. The caravan performs in heterogeneous places. Not only does it exhibit in many different European countries, it goes as much to major cities – such as Paris, Berlin or Brussels – as to small towns of the Gard region. In each of these sites, the exhibition can happen inside – in the Mucem for example – but in the streets, or in a park – as in Bergen. A total of 30 artists are involved in the project. However, they are not all present all the time; some of them come for specific stops only. Mohamad al Roumi is the main organiser of the project. Five artists work alongside him to carry out the movement: Amélie Duhamel, Florence Aubin, Khlouloud Al Zghayare, Walaa Dakak and Walid El Masri; the Syrian cultural caravan aims to create ties with the places they go to by collaborating with local artists. Therefore, numerous local artists contribute to the project. Razan Nassreddine: She was born in a Syrian-Lebanese family.

She graduated in French literature from University of Damascus, as well as in Inter-Mediterranean Mediation from Universities of Montpellier III, France, UAB in Barcelona, Ca’Foscari, in Venice. She is a curator, she was artistic advisor for the