Middle Eastern Spirituality

and Peace

 
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FESTIVAL 2009

Guidelines for Participation

 

Guidelines for Participation in the 2009 Edinburgh International Festival
of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace, 28 February – 15 March 2009

 

Inclusion of an Event in the 2009 Middle East Festival

There are three possible ways in which an event can become part of the 2009 Middle East Festival, and here are the three possibilities:

1. The event is organised by the Middle East Festival Co-Directors;
2. The event is organised as a partnership between the Middle East Festival and an external party following discussion with the Middle East Festival Co-Directors to agree terms and conditions;
3. The event is organised by an external party following discussion with the Middle East Festival Co-Directors to agree terms and conditions.

The main body of the 2009 Middle East Festival, organised by the Middle East Festival Co-Directors, will take place between 28 February – 15 March 2009.

NB: externally organised events should be between 18 February - 27 February 2009.

For an event to be part of the 2009 Middle East Festival it must reflect the Festival Ethos, be consistent with the Festival’s Equality and Diversity Statement, and comply with the General Middle East Festival Terms and Conditions and any other more specific Terms and Conditions agreed in advance. The general Festival Ethos, Equality and Diversity Statement, and General Middle East Festival Terms and Conditions are set out below. Additional specific Terms and Conditions may apply to a given event and be agreed in advance with the Festival Co-Directors. The event must also meet the Planning Timeline set out for inclusion in the Festival Brochure. Events not finalised in keeping with the Planning Timeline will only be included in the 2009 Middle East Festival at the discretion of the Festival Co-Directors.

Middle East Festival Ethos

The Middle East Festival is non-political in nature taking no fixed position on any political, ethical or cultural question. It intends rather to create a forum in which we can listen to each other more deeply and learn with more open minds and hearts.

In MESP 2009 seven strands to the Festival will be explicit, to allow a range of entry routes into the Festival, and to allow a range of participation identities, namely:

1. spirituality, and relations among spiritual and faith traditions;
2. peace and conflict;
3. education, learning and audience development;
4. arts and culture;
5. health, wellbeing and healing;
6. equality, diversity and communities;
7. celebrating Scotland, the UK and the Middle East in international terms.

Please also refer to the document, MESP Strands, Principles, Presentations, Practices, Processes and Event Formats for further background information.


In strand 1. above one of MESP's overriding aims is to contribute to peace through dialogue, spiritual practice and improved mutual understanding among the religious and spiritual traditions that have arisen in what is now known as the Middle East, and more generally among those who have found a home in Scotland and the UK. Accordingly, MESP seeks to engage a progressively wider and more diverse range of participants who have been promoting spiritual approaches to non-violent conflict resolution and world peace. No speaker represents, or can represent, the totality of any tradition. Likewise, no religious group or organization, nor the MESP organization nor its sponsors, should be identified with the opinions of any speaker, whose opinions remain his/her own. One of the primary principles of MESP is that all mystical and prophetic voices for non-violence and peace should be allowed a hearing, without censorship or prior vetting by any religious group or organization.

In strand 2. above MESP participants are invited to shape their own experience during the Festival, and to take personal responsibility for participating as peacemakers and community builders. MESP participants are invited to take personal responsibility for processing any conflicts or obstacles to peace that they experience, and for self-evaluating their own participation as peacemakers and community builders for the benefit of their wider life experience. Conflict and obstacles to peace are of central importance in the lives of peacemakers and community builders. They hold seeds for our spiritual and creative development, and can provide energy to sustain such development. MESP provides many opportunities to engage spiritually, creatively and non-violently with conflict and obstacles to peace in supportive and non-judgmental environments, allowing participants the opportunity to transform conflicts and obstacles to peace into new perspectives, insights and actions.

In strand 3. above MESP seeks to engage academics, teachers, students, education officers and those in lifelong learning environments in the themes of the Festival in events and activities which are educationally led. The Festival would be particularly interested to develop national educational initiatives associated with the Festival, and would welcome approaches in this respect.


In strand 4. above MESP seeks to develop events across a wide range of art forms exploring artistic and cultural expressions of spirituality and peace. Potentially, the creative arts explore, engage, and illustrate the whole being – body, mind, and spirit, as individuals and in relationship. The creative arts have the potential to be a source of connection, of healing, and of awakening, and a pathway for renewing and sharing spirituality. Creative human expression and the shared appreciation of creative acts contain a spiritual as well as a psychological, physical, social, and emotional dimension which can also serve as an enriching source connecting all aspects of human experience.


In strand 5. above MESP seeks to develop events that engage with aspects of health, wellbeing and healing, in recognition of the vital importance of this theme, both to Scotland and also to the Middle East.


In strand 6. above MESP seeks to involve the diverse spiritual, cultural, ethnic and national communities of Scotland in the Festival, including through the provision of community hosted events. Within this strand we also welcome events hosted for refugee and asylum groups, and for various minority communities in Scotland.


In strand 7. above MESP seeks to position itself as an International Festival in the Edinburgh context, and increasingly as a National Festival in the Scottish context. The Festival provides an international forum in Scotland and an opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s international aspirations and achievements, as well as positively celebrating the Middle East. At a national level in Scotland, MESP aspires to encourage and support more events across Scotland, with Scotland-wide publicity. MESP is a vehicle for local and international community building between diverse spiritual traditions, cultures and communities and between the internal and external experiences of the individual.
Middle East Festival Disclaimer

The opinions expressed by all speakers at Edinburgh International Conference on Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace and during the associated Festival are their own and should not be identified with those of the MESP organizers or sponsors or with those of any particular religious or spiritual organization or community. One of the primary principles of MESP is that all mystical and prophetic voices for non-violence and peace should be allowed a hearing, without censorship or prior vetting.

Middle East Festival Equality and Diversity Statement

1. Race Equality: everyone is welcome in all events of the Festival regardless of the person’s race, ethnicity or nationality. The Festival encourages and supports specific diverse community groups to host events during the Festival, e.g., Moroccan, Kurdish, Iraqi, Iranian, Turkish, etc.

2. Gender Equality: women of all backgrounds are welcome at all Festival events, and the Festival aspires to a good balance of male and female speakers and facilitators throughout the Festival. The Festival also supports the development of some all-women events during the Festival.

3. Sexual Orientation Equality: everyone is welcome in all events of the Festival regardless of the person’s sexual orientation.

4. Faith/Spirituality Equality: all faith and spiritual traditions are treated in equality, and the Festival does not promote any faith or spiritual tradition over any other tradition. Everyone participates in the Festival as an individual, and people of mixed faith or spirituality, or no identifiable faith or spirituality are equally welcome to participate in all Festival events. The Festival encourages and supports specific diverse faith or spiritual community groups to host events during the Festival.

5. Access Issues: the Festival aspires to make Festival events as accessible as possible. This includes issues of disabled access, having some Festival events in disadvantaged parts of the city, and having a good range of free events and relatively inexpensive events to keep the Festival accessible to people on low income, OAPS and students. The Festival also offers bursaries to people on very low income.

6. Diversity: the Festival positively celebrates the spiritual and cultural diversity of Scotland, and also of the Middle East.

7. Political and Ethical Issues: the Festival is non-political in nature, and the Festival takes up no fixed position on political, ethical or cultural questions. The Festival provides forums for differing points of view to be shared, heard and respected, rather than promoting any one point of view over other points of view.

 

General Middle East Festival Terms and Conditions

Externally Organised/Promoted Events: NB: externally organised events should be between Wednesday 18 February – Friday 27 February 2009. This is to avoid clashes of dates with events organised by the Festival Co-Directors, which will take place between Saturday 28 February – Sunday 15 March 2009.

It is the responsibility of external organisers/promoters to make any necessary insurance or licensing arrangements for their event and all other necessary practical arrangements, including health and safety requirements. The Middle East Festival expects external promoters to do an adequate amount of additional publicity above and beyond the Festival Brochure and Website. The external promoter is solely responsible for the dissemination of such additional publicity. No changes to an event as advertised in the Festival Brochure should be made without prior agreement with the Festival Co-Directors, since changes can have an impact on the wider Festival, e.g., changes of date, time, venue, cost, booking arrangements, line-up, etc. Text provided by external promoters for the Festival Brochure must be checked in detail in advance for accuracy. All photos provided must be high resolution photos. The Middle East Festival should be provided with a copy of any photos and recordings for the Festival Archive, with an agreed number of guest tickets for the Festival staff to attend. Promoters should indicate which of the seven strands of the Middle East Festival best describe the event. For each externally promoted arts event which is included in the Middle East Festival a £100 contribution should be made to the costs of Festival publicity and distribution. External promoters must liaise closely with the Festival Co-Directors on the selection of the date and time of their event. The Festival Co-Directors may be able to offer some help with choosing an appropriate venue for the event.

NB: No event can be cancelled once it is included in the Festival Brochure, and external organisers/promoters should only put forward events for inclusion which they are certain will definitely take place.

Publicity: the copy deadline for the Festival Brochure each year is 1 November the year before, and all of the practical details for an event must be completely finalised by 1 November for inclusion in the Festival Brochure. Participating organisations provide accurate text associated with their event, but the content and the design of the Festival Brochure and the Festival Website are solely a matter for the Festival Co-Directors and the relevant professional designer employed. Drafts will not be provided to participating organisations. For events externally organised/promoted, it is the responsibility of the external promoter to arrange for publicity above and beyond the Festival Brochure and Website, and to include the Festival logo and website address on the publicity and in press releases, and to accurately acknowledge the Middle East Festival at the event. The inclusion of logos in the Festival Brochure will be at the discretion of the Festival Co-Directors.

Festival Highlights: The Festival Co-Directors will determine certain events as Festival Highlights, and this is the sole decision of the Festival Co-Directors. The Festival Highlights will be acknowledged as such in the Festival Brochure and on the Festival Website in a format that the Festival Co-Directors deem appropriate.

Middle East Festival Events Unique to the Middle East Festival: All events included in the Middle East Festival are unique to the Middle East Festival, and are not to be co-branded as part of any other series or Festival, and unless otherwise agreed in advance they should be unique events in the UK context without repeat shows in other parts of the UK. The Middle East Festival does not want to confused with any other event or series or Festival which may have a different ethos. All events included in the Middle East Festival will be branded as such and to avoid confusion with any other event, series or Festival.

Policy on Partners or Agents: The Middle East Festival does not cover costs of visits by partners or agents of visiting artists or participants, and can take no responsibility for them while they are here.

Policy on Artists’ Equipment and Baggage: Artists, such as musicians, are responsible for their equipment and baggage and their handling while participating in the Middle East Festival. The Middle East Festival does not provide equipment or baggage carriers for visiting artists.

Travel and Medical Insurance: All Festival participants are responsible for any required provision for travel and medical insurance to cover their participation in the Middle East Festival.

Travel, Accommodation and Local Transportation Costs of Invited Participants: The Middle East Festival covers the travel, accommodation and local travel costs of invited speakers and artists. The Middle East Festival arranges the accommodation in advance. It is the responsibility of invited speakers and artists to book and pay for their own travel at a rate agreed with the Festival Co-Directors, and the Middle East Festival reimburses the travel costs upon arrival when a receipt is received.

Per Diem: The Middle East Festival will provide an agreed per diem to cover basic food requirements for invited speakers and artists at a rate to be agreed in advance.

Visa Requirements: Invited speakers and artists are responsible for arranging appropriate visas to cover their participation in the Middle East Festival. The Festival Co-Directors will write a letter of invitation for the visa application process.

Policy on Fees: The Middle East Festival is first and foremost a Spirituality and Peace Festival and is not a commercial arts Festival. The Middle East Festival does not operate on a fee basis for professional artists, e.g., musicians. The Festival works on the basis of an agreed split in ticket revenue taking into account costs. This is agreed on a case by case basis in advance. Everyone else participates on an in-kind basis in the Middle East Festival, and there are no exceptions to this policy. For the Festival Lecture, the Middle East Festival will agree in advance an honorarium with the speaker.

Literature Given out at Events: No political literature should be given out at any Middle East Festival events, and in general only literature specifically linked to the event or to the wider Middle East Festival should be given out at events.

Recording of Middle East Festival Events: The Middle East Festival reserves the right to audio record or video record at any Middle East Festival event for the Festival Archives.

Contact:

Neill Walker,
Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP,
Scottish Charity SC038996,
4, William Black Place, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9PZ.
T: +44 (0) 131 331 4469, E: mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, W: www.eicsp.org

 

 

 

Festival Directors and Contacts

Festival Directors:
Neill Walker and Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz.

Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP,

Scottish charity SC038996,
4, William Black Place, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9PZ.
T: +44 (0) 131 331 4469, E: mesp2008@hotmail.co.uk, W: www.eicsp.org