Requiem for Justice is an annual global festival showcasing the transformative power of art in the fight against injustice. It offers a profound reflection on human shortcomings amidst today’s challenges and envisions a brighter, more just future.

After a triumphant festival in the high altitudes of Mexico City in 2023, Action for Hope, the civil society network behind Requiem for Justice, brings the festival to the picturesque city of bikes and canals: Amsterdam.

Over the course of four inspiring days, immerse yourself in thought-provoking discussions, captivating concerts, film screenings, and dynamic theater performances by more than 60 artists, writers, and civil society activists from across the globe. This event is a celebration of resilience, a chance to forge connections with a diverse community, and an exploration of what is possible—and, perhaps more importantly, what is seemingly impossible but crucial to strive for.

Join us for an exciting, free programme on day 1 and day 2 of the festival at Pakhuis de Zwijger. Whether you pop in for a session or stay for the whole day, you’re welcome! Between the sessions, you can enjoy a delicious dinner at our cafe. Find all the cafe details here.

For more information about the entire festival programme, please visit Action for Hope’s website.

Thursday Programme
10:00 - 23:00 | This is Gaza | exhibition | @ Studio

A display of 22 poems and literary texts written under the bombing by poets in Gaza during the period 7 October to 20 December 2023.

10:00 - 13:00 | Landscapes of Hope | presentation | @ Studio

Presentations by civil society organizations from the Global South: members of the Landscapes of Hope network present their work in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East.

14:00 - 15:30 | Speaking Truth to Power 1 | Panel | @ Studio

Panel discussion on the role of civil society in protecting freedom of expression.

Moderated by Kirsten van den Hul.

16:00 - 17:30 | Speaking Truth to Power 2 | Panel | @ Studio

Panel discussion on the role of civil society in protecting freedom of expression.

Moderated by Laila Hourani.

18:30 - 20:45 | Mediterranean Fever | Film screening + Q&A | @ Grote Zaal

Mediterranean Fever (Palestine / Germany / France / Cyprus / Qatar) is the Winner of the Un Certain Regard award for best screenplay at Cannes Film Festival (2022). This darkly comic feature film follows Palestinian Waleed as he battles a writer’s block and depression at the same time. The film is screened in collaboration with Film Lab Palestine. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director Maha Haj, moderated by Hanna Atallah.

21:00 - 21:45 | Spoken Word by Banshee and Xabiso Vili | Performance | @ Grote Zaal

Banshee (Zimbabwe) strives to empower the masses through an adroit blend of spoken word poetry, storytelling and hip hop.

Xabiso Vili (South Africa), World Poetry Slam Champion and Mandela Washington Fellow, is a multiaward-winning performer, writer, and new media artist. Founder of Siziintsomi Creations, he blends storytelling with innovative mediums and healing.

22:00 - 22:45 | Stand-up Comedy by Atheer Yacoub | Performance | @ Grote Zaal

Atheer Yacoub (USA/Palestine) is a New York-based comedian who has a half-hour special on Comedy Central Arabia, proving that laughter knows no borders. Atheer has been featured on Comedy Central Arabia and AXSTV’s Gotham Comedy Live. She also stars in the award- winning sketch show “Muslim Girls DTF: Discuss Their Faith” on Fuse TV.

More about the speakers and performers…

Kirsten van den Hul is director of DutchCulture, the Dutch network and knowledge organisation for international cultural cooperation. Before joining DutchCulture, she worked as an independent consultant through her own company, The Change Agent, working on different transition projects, mainly in the public sector.

Previously, she was a member of parliament for the Dutch Labour Party, where she focused on culture, education, gender equality, foreign trade and development. Prior to that, she was active on the crossroads between culture, human rights and international cooperation, at different organisations including the European Cultural Foundation and Mama Cash. She lived, studied and worked in Tunisia and has extensive work experience in Eastern Europe and the MENA region. She is the former UN Women representative of the Netherlands.
Kirsten was a columnist for different newspapers and magazines, contributed to a number of publications and wrote a book, called (S)hevolution.

Laila Hourani is a cultural leader and novelist with twenty-five years’ experience in art, culture and media development, intercultural relations and partnership building for social impact.
Laila moved to Norway in 2021 to join the Norwegian cultural rights organization MIMETA, as Program Director. She left MIMETA in 2023 and shifted to self-employment as an expert consultant. She has been Senior Program Officer at the Ford Foundation MENA office in Cairo, Regional Director Creativity and Mutuality at the British Syria and Assistant Information and Communication at UNICEF Syria. Laila has developed strategies and programs that have contributed to enhancing creative cultural expression in the Arab region, Africa and their diasporas in Europe. She has also supported the seeding and institutional strengthening of narrative change civil society organisations that give voice to communities in distress, like Syrian refugees and artists at risk.

Hanna Atallah, is a filmmaker, producer and cultural art manager, based between Berlin and Jerusalem. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema Studies from the High Institute of Cinema in the Egyptian Academy of Arts. His experience covers filmmaking projects, both fiction and documentary.

Atallah aims to empower unheard voices throughout his professional career. With the creation of the non-profit organisation of “Filmlab: Palestine” in 2014 in Ramallah, he developed a platform to activate cinema culture, work on audience awareness and invest in professional knowledge exchange in Palestine, which opened the door for a regional and international network for Palestinian film professionals. Moreover, Atallah was the initiator, producer and manager of the Palestinian Memory Documentation Project in Talbiyeh Refugee Camp in Jordan. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Palestine Cinema Days.

Banshee is a multi-award winning human rights defender who uses spoken word poetry and music, to promote creative advocacy. Born in Harare in the year 1999, Banshee delivered her first performance at the House of Hunger Poetry Slam in 2017 and has since represented Zimbabwe on various platforms in both Europe and Africa. Owing to her fierce passion for social justice, Banshee spearheads a womanist movement called Shee and hosts an annual mental wellness event called Battlescars and Healing. Her words embody safety, are a call to action and a true attestation of the strength of the African spirit.

Banshee strives to empower the masses through an adroit blend of spoken word poetry, storytelling and hip hop. She explores the deepest parts of the human experience in her work and unpacks issues to do with social justice. Her passion and tenacity are a result of her commitment to amplifying the voices of the marginalized (with a special focus on women), as well as calling the rightful enforcers of positive change to action. She, through her thought-provoking lyricism and emotional resonance,aims to build community and transform lives. Her greatest hope is to become a distinct voice among many.

Xabiso Vili is a multi-award winning performer, writer, new media artist, producer, director, digital strategist and social activist, who has the following accolades under his belt: World Poetry Slam Champion, Mandela Washington Fellow and Mail & Guardian top 200 Young South African. He is the founder of Siziintsomi Creations, a creative incubator company that focuses on the intersection of storytelling, innovative mediums and healing. An Electric South New Dimensions Lab 5 alumni and a Business and Arts South Africa Cultural Producer Programme cohort and a Future Africa Grant recipient which allowed him to create a new poetry visual album in virtual reality.

Atheer Yacoub is a New York-based comedian with a Palestinian-Muslim upbringing straight out of Alabama. She recently released her comedy album, Denied Entry, where she navigates the treacherous waters of growing up in the Middle East and the South. She’s been seen on Comedy Central Arabia for a half-hour special, AXSTV’s Gotham Comedy Live, and is a frequent guest on Sirius XM. You can stream her award-winning sketch show Muslim Girls DTF: Discuss Their Faith, which is now streaming on Fuse TV. Atheer can be found touring the country and internationally.