Mark Thomas discusses his latest book, Extreme Rambling, at the Edinburgh Book Fringe 2011
Saturday 13th August 2011 at 2.30pm
43-45 West Nicolson Street
'Good fences make good neighbours, but what about bad ones?’
The Israeli barrier is probably the most iconic divider of land since the Berlin Wall. It has been declared illegal under international law and its impact on life in the West Bank has been enormous.
Mark Thomas - as only he could - decided the only way to really get to grips with this huge divide was to use the barrier as a route map, to 'walk the wall', covering the entire distance with little more in his armoury than Kendal Mint Cake and a box of blister plasters.
In the course of his ramble he was tear-gassed, stoned, sunburned, rained on and hailed on and even lost the wall a couple of times. But thankfully he was also welcomed and looked after by Israelis and Palestinians - from farmers and soldiers to smugglers and zookeepers – and finally earned a unique insight of the real Middle East in all its entrenched and yet life-affirming glory. And all without hardly ever getting arrested!
Mark Thomas has worked as a comedian for over twenty years. His activist, campaigning brand of comedy has been a thorn in the side of many politicians and corporations. However, recently he has been invited to give evidence at various government select committees. He is one of a limited number of people to be awarded a UN Global Human Rights Defender Award and has also been awarded a Kurdish National Congress Medal of Honour amongst other citations. His three-year campaign to stop the building of the Ilisu damn in Turkey was ultimately successful and saved 78,000 Kurds from being displaced. His publications include As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela, Belching Out the Devil, Mark Thomas Presents the People's Manifesto and Extreme Rambling.