The contributions to this initiative will help equip a group of social activists with theatre facilitation skills. These activists are currently working on a range on issues such as: Land Rights, Electoral Politics, Religious and Caste based co-existence, Right to Housing, Right to Education, Labour Rights, Rehabilitation of manual scavengers, and so on. This workshop will help them stimulate their intellect and use theatre in their work practice, which will enhance their outreach and efficiency multi-fold.
I first got introduced to Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) a few years ago. Engaging with TO exercises and putting together a Forum Play gave me the opportunity to engage with myself in a non-judgemental manner. It stimulated my intellect to be a better person and contribute more efficiently to the world, and in my role as a social worker. Over the years, I have facilitated various workshops with TO elements in it and at the end of each initiative, I wonder about the fiery potential this practice would have for young social activists across the country, who are working bravely, and relentlessly on addressing various social issues. Equipping them with skills of theatre will be a powerful tool to use as they strive hard to pave a path of better living for the communities they are engaged with: a better world for all of us to be a part of.
The Theatre of the Oppressed practice believes that every human being is capable of thinking. It is a form of theatre that deeply respects intellectual faculty of people and therefore has the potential to portray oppression and change the story. This form of theatre focuses not just on acting, but also action. It deliberates on the reflection of reality and a rehearsal for future action.
Janasanskriti Center for the Theatre of Oppressed is one of the pioneers in this field in India. Over the past 3 decades, Janasanskriti has addressed issues like domestic violence, girl child trafficking, child abuse, maternal & child health, primary education and health care, etc, all through theatre.
Here is a video of Sanjoy Ganguly, co-founder of Janasanskriti, talking about Theatre and Change:
Here is another video highlighting some snippets of a Forum performance by the Janasanskriti team:
Equipping social activists with skills of TO will enhance their ability to examine their own actions in relation with the community that they work with, the structural oppression in which communities are entrenched in and facilitate a creative process of birthing new ideas and actions for change.
How these Funds will be used
For the purpose of this workshop, we need a total amount of Rs. 2 lakhs. This workshop will be hosted at Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy, Palampur. Nestled at the foothills of Dhauladhar mountains, Sambhaavnaa provides for an enriching learning space, allowing for nature to be a teacher as well. For the purpose of this workshop, Sambhaavnaa Institute has agreed to subsidize the boarding and lodging costs for the participants of the workshop. Part of the funds raised through this campaign will go to towards the basic costs of hiring the space for the workshop.
Sanjoy Ganguly and Sima Ganguly from Janasanskriti have agreed to facilitate this workshop pro bono. Part of the funds raised through this campaign will go into reimbursing their travel expenses.
Close to 30 social activists from across the country will be joining in as participants for the workshop. A majority of the funds generated through this campaign will be spent on supporting their travel costs.
Your contribution is important! And no amount of contribution is less for us. Do support this initiative generously and share it with your friends too.