For Immediate Release (# 54)
Contact: Kani Xulam: 202.483.6444
April 2, 2001

Annet Henneman, a Dutch woman and Gianni Calastri, an Italian man, both actors with Theatro di Nascosto, the Hidden Theatre, will take part in an ongoing vigil at Sheridan Circle across from the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC, beginning at 9:00 p.m. for twelve hours.

The theatrical duo have been in the United States on a tour performing to audiences in the Congress, at universities and community centers across the country.

On April 2, 2001, they will do their last performance at Kay Spiritual Life Center on the campus of the American University on Massachusetts Avenue. The play, partly a monologue dedicated to the imprisoned Kurdish parliamentarian Leyla Zana, will start at 7:00 p.m. It is open to the public with no charge.

Theatro di Nascosto, the Hidden Theatre, as its name implies, focuses on seldom visited issues such as the plight of the Kurds. Ms. Henneman and Mr. Calastri have spent years befriending Kurds first in Europe and then in Kurdistan.

The upshot of these friendships have culminated with the production and performance of several plays by Annet Henneman and her crew of primarily Italian and some Kurdish actors.

Asked to comment on why she wanted to sacrifice a warm night in her bed to a vigil of cold in the “Cell of Atonement” that is a replica of Turkish prison cell, Ms. Henneman stated, “What is a night, if not a mere second, compared to seven years and 29 days that Leyla Zana has spent in these conditions. We, the fortunate and free peoples, should do as much as possible for others to enjoy the same.”

“Such an act of solidarity is rare in history. Two talented artists are reaching out to the world to uncover a hidden war with their art. This is not just a service to the Kurds but an attempt to lift the humanity from its present filth,” said Kani Xulam, one of the organizers and participants of the vigil at Sheridan Circle.

The 24 hour vigil started on March 5, 2001 and is staffed by volunteers both Kurds and their primarily American friends to highlight and effect the freedom of four imprisoned Kurdish parliamentarians since 1994.