Jen Marlowe bio
Jen Marlowe Biography:
Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights advocate. Jen began her professional life working at Seattle Children’s Theatre; from 1994-2000, she did youth theatre work in Seattle, using theatre as a platform for students to tell their stories. Jen lived and worked in Jerusalem from 2000-2004, using some of these same techniques to engage in dialogue-based conflict resolution with Palestinian and Israeli teenagers. Jen also did conflict resolution work with youth in Afghanistan, Cyprus, India, Pakistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was while working with youth in conflict areas when she first picked up a video camera—at that time, in order to record messages being exchanged between Israeli and Palestinian youth. As the youth themselves pushed the video dialogue project to more complex realms, Jen began to explore the idea of how film can be used, not only as a tool of dialogue, but also as a tool of activism. In 2004, with colleagues Adam Shapiro and Aisha Bain, Jen traveled to Northern Darfur and Eastern Chad to make the award-winning documentary film Darfur Diaries: Message from Home and wrote the accompanying book Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival. Darfur Diaries was included in the 2007 edition of the Best American Non-Required Reading, edited by Dave Eggers. Jen’s second feature-length award-winning documentary is called Rebuilding Hope. Rebuilding Hope follows three Sudanese-American young men on their first homecoming trip back to Sudan, to discover whether their homes and families survived the civil war and to build a school, drill wells and bring medical supplies to their villages in Sudan. Jen’s second book, called The Hour of Sunlight, is co-authored with and tells the story of Sami Al Jundi, a Palestinian man from the Old City of Jerusalem who spent ten years in Israeli prison for being involved in militant anti-occupation activities as a youth and who has spent the last two decades of his life working towards nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. Jen is also the playwright of There is a Field. The play addresses issues faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel. The play launched globally in October 2010, to mark the ten-year anniversary of Black October. Jen recently completed a short documentary film called One Family in Gaza profiling one family’s experience during and after the 2009 assault on the Gaza Strip. Jen is in the midst of writing her next book, written with Martina Davis-Correia, the sister of Troy Davis. Troy was convicted in 1991 for the murder of a police officer, and was shamefully executed by the state of Georgia on September 21,2011 despite an international outcry over his strong case of innocence. Jen’s articles about Palestine/Israel, Sudan and the death penalty can be found at The Nation, Worldfocus.org, Tomdispatch.com, Yes!, Colorlines and Massachusetts Review.