Theatre project with refugees – concept
Forced migration and war are deeply and generationally interwoven with the emotional-cultural life and experience. Families are no longer able to show their children, or to even feel themselves, what should be basic human qualities: empathy, resilience, a keen eye towards the environment, commitment, personal contentment, and trust and interest in others.
WHAT WE DO
We reawaken, adapted to the situation and with a pragmatic approach, in refugees what it means to be human in a transcultural way.
The idea is simple:
We working hard in the camps, with the support of a trained trauma therapist, on theatre projects that arouse, animate, energize and revive child like creativity.
WE WORK WITH
We work with two different groups within the camps:
1) Children between the ages of 8 and 13.
2) Adult residents who have pedagogical experience with children or a strong interest in acquiring it. They are trained to work with the children twice a week – at the beginning under our guidance. We train these counselors in four modules (see below). Later on, they will train and educate the next round of counselors.
The training of the six counselors is based on four pillars:
Basic knowledge and teaching of trauma principles
Teaching of theatre-pedagogical skills (in regards to children’s rights)
Teaching non-verbal theatre techniques such as pantomime, clowning and dancing
Awareness of the cultural conditions of the refugees, as well as their own culture, the potential and their knowledge transfer. Work on the tale “Sinbad” from Tales of 1,001 Nights.
Erbil, Independent Region Kurdistan / Iraq (since June 2016)
Athens, Greece (Since February 2017)
Thessaloniki, Greece (planned start 2017)
Jordan (planned start in 2018)
In various workshops, such as puppetry or pantomime, we provide input for mental debate and develop common tasks. Our approach is playful, as well as action- and body-oriented. Thisopens up new perspectives and possibilities for action, allows access to emotions that go far beyond the verbal level, and can offer the feeling of a high level of protection thanks to the the aesthetic distance of the artistic, creative form. These perspectives open up equally to the children and adults. In this way, they benefit from, with and among each other.
THE TWO LEVELS OF THE PROJECT
Train the adviser
The first level works towards qualifying the counselors. In workshops they familiarise themselves with the basics of theatre pedagogy and non-verbal theatre techniques. The children subsequently participate in the workshops so that our counselors gain practical experience.
The TRAIN THE ADVISER program is designed for the long term. Every three months, the contents of the first three pillars are reworked, always taking into account the fourth pillar.
The group of counselors consists of six people, at best four women and two men, of different ages. This combination is important to us so that the exchange between the sexes and different age groups is guaranteed.
Through further training and the possibility of regular work, the counselors have perspectives with potential for growth and can make a living for themselves and their families. They receive a written certificate of participation for future job applications..
Together with our experts, we develop curricula that form the four pillars of our project. These curricula are used by our trained counselors in weekly theatre lessons. The courses are made up of 25 children aged 8 to 13 years. We are currently working with two camps, for a total of 50 children.
It is primarily about giving the children access to the different theatrical techniques in a playful environment. They learn different possibilities in representative play and use them in practical exercises in order to then develop and present a theatre project themselves,including costume, music and stage design. Continuous, long-term work is important in order to develop, promote and strengthen their own resources.