Big Hope 2

14 June 2018
Liverpool Hope University

On Thursday 14th June B!RTH's Syria play - 'Q&Q' by Liwaa Yazji - was performed as part of the Big Hope 2 global youth congress, and followed by an inspiring debate. The Big Hope 2 aims to bring 1,000 young people together from around the world to hear from a range of speakers and be part of powerful discussions which will inspire them to become leaders in a changing world. 

B!RTH’s hard-hitting Syria play, ‘Question & Question’, by leading Syrian playwright Liwaa Yazji was performed by a cast of student actors from Hope University and exchange students from the USA who had been working with B!RTH Creative Director, Emma Callander, on the piece. Immediately following the performance, the audience were asked for a one-world response to the play; responses included: ‘angry’. ‘privileged’, and ‘helpless’.

The performance was followed by a panel discussion and interactive debate on the issues raised in the play. The discussion was facilitated by Professor Nynke van den Broek , Head of the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at LSTM, and other panellists were:
• Professor Sally Theobald, Chair in Social Science and International Health at LSTM
• Professor Sarah Ssali, Associate Professor and Dean of Gender and women’s studies at Makerere university, Uganda and partner on LSTM consortia REBUILD and RinGs
• Gabrielle Clark, Operations Manager at MRANG (Merseyside Refugee & Asylum Seekers Pre- & Post-Natal Support Group) where she runs the Perinatal Support Group.

The discussion focussed on action and inaction in the context of the play’s subject, something which Professor Ssali’s experiences working with women in post-conflict Uganda and South Sudan were particularly pertinent to. All of the panellists brought a wealth of experience to the discussion, along with students from around the world who shared not only their responses to the piece but their own observations and reflections on maternal health in their home countries.