Scotland: ‘The Container’ wins Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award

Amnesty International and the Big Issue in Scotland tonight (23rd August) announced the winner of the 2007 Freedom of Expression Award. The award acknowledges a company whose performance at the Edinburgh Festivals makes a significant contribution to public awareness and understanding of human rights issues.

This year’s winner, The Container, written by Clare Bayley, is produced by Nimble Fish in association with Underbelly Productions, with support from Arts Council England’s Escalator East to Edinburgh programme and Creative Partnerships Thames Gateway.

The production deals with asylum, racial and religious persecution and is staged in an actual container lorry, with the audience shut inside the enclosed space for the performance. It can currently be seen at E4 UdderBELLY’s Pasture on Bristo Square.

The other four shortlisted shows were: As the Mother of a Brown Boy; Rash;
Truth in Translation; and Superpatriots and Morons. Read more about those shows

The Freedom of Expression Award was established by Amnesty International in 2001. This year the Award was relaunched as a partnership with the Big Issue in Scotland, helping secure the Award's position as a central feature of the Edinburgh Festival.

All Fringe productions which address human rights themes were eligible to nominate themselves for the Award, and judges chose from a "longlist" of 32 productions accepted as promoting human rights themes. The winner of the award was announced at a special ceremony tonight at the Edinburgh World Heritage Centre.

Notes to Editors:

Amnesty is asking people to take action for human rights while they’re enjoying the Festival this year using the Internet and text messaging, including a campaign for Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist imprisoned for ten years just for sending an email. Amnesty is asking people to demand his freedom at www.amnesty.org.uk/scotland or text the word 'FREEDOM', plus their name and email address to 64118 to join the ever-growing petition.

More information about Amnesty’s programme across the Festivals at www.amnesty.org.uk/Scotland /p> p>Short-listed shows:

Rash, Jenni Wolfson. Topic: Genocide and human rights in Rwanda, Working in human rights and the UN.

As the Mother of Brown Boy, Chickenshed. Topic: Racial issues and death in police custody; Truth in Translation, Michael Lessac. Topic: Apartheid South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Superpatriots and Morons, Rooftop Productions. Topic: Satire on the political situation in Zimbabwe.

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