What's up at your place?
When trying to find a solution for a certain problem, you often feel like running against a wall and you just don’t know how to go on. Especially in those situations, it’s important to figure out how other people would react if placed in your shoes. Many times a good talk with a friend is enough and everything is alright. Nevertheless, it’s helpful to know how conflicts are dealt with in other cultures. This perspective gives you new ideas and soon you may feel that a solution is not as impossible as you might have thought before. Are you also interested in a look beyond your own culture? Let us present to you some interesting projects from Rwanda, Colombia, Kenya and Brazil.
Rwanda: ESPÉRANCE Conflicts, civil war and the genocide in 1994 marked the African country Rwanda significantly until today. Neither in the young generation the deeply rooted racism can't be deleted easily, but still defines every day life. The project „ESPÉRANCE“, that is run since 2002 by the „Association des Jeunes Sportifs de Kigali“ in the capital of Rwanda, attempts to make a contribution to reconciliation and unification between the ethnic groups in the Great Lakes Region via streetfootball. „Football for Peace and Anti-AIDS“ uses the popular sport as an instrument to aid social tolerance of young people from 8-19 years, decrease differences within the population and raise awareness on AIDS. Thats why the football games are always joined by education campaigns and Anti-AIDS activities. More than 300 young people experience the potential of football on the sports field every year and are educated to be a trainer of this method of sensitizing and peaceful conflict resolution by themselves. In February 2008 the German president Horst Köhler joined an ESPÉRANCE football game and complimented not only the sportive but also the social efforts of the young people. He assured the organizers further support from Germany. As being a member of streetfootballworld, ESPÉRANCE also participated in the festival in Berlin in 2006.
Colombia: Fútbol por la paz The Streetfootball project „Fúbol por la paz“, that means as much as „Football for peace“, was founded 1998 by the group „Con-texto Urbano“ in Medellin, Colombia. The frequently very violent conflicts in this Latin American country ask for innovative solutions and strategies: Football becomes a key element for a peaceful living together, of the participants admidst a violent surrounding. The project wants to stimulate especially young people from disadvantaged social groups to participate actively at the development and the incidents in their country. Both in the cities and the countryside idle public places get filled with motley football teams, that beside having fun on sports, learn about the posibilities of peaceful conflict resolutions. The idea of fútbol por la paz is nowadays implemented by various projects of streetfootballworld, Street Football for Tolerance and the Latin American network Fútbol Callejero in many countries of the world. 2006 Con-Texto Urbano as well participated at the streetfootball-festival in Berlin. The specific rules of this kind of footballgame transmit social and common values and aid a tolerant company with the teammates.
Brazil: The Theatre of the Oppressed
The Theatre of the Oppressed was founded in Brazil in 1971. It is a system of Games and special Techniques that aims at developing, in the oppressed citizens, the language of the theatre, which is the essential human language. This form of theatre is meant to be practiced by, about and for the oppressed, to help them fight against their oppressions and to transform the society that engenders those oppressions. The word Oppressed is used in the sense of an individual who has lost the right to express his wills and needs and is reduced to the condition of obedient listener of a monologue. It must be used as a tool of fighting against all forms class oppression, racism, sexism, and all kinds of discrimination. The Theatre of the Oppressed aims to be an instrument of concrete social transformation – it aims to reestablish dialogue as the general form of communication, which is nowadays often reduced to a monologue. By using forum theatre as one method, the Theatre of the Oppressed integrates the audience – the forum – in ist plays. The actors and the audience have to work together in order to solve a conflict, which is presented on the stage.
Flávio Sanctum, trainer of the theatre workshop in 2006, has been working with the Theatre of the Oppressed for over 12 years now.
More about the Theatre of the Oppressed
Kenya: The Amani People’s Theatre
“Amani“ is a Kiswahili word equivalent for “peace“. The Amani People’s Theatre is an organization of young African artists who want to contribute to a change in society through their work. Founded in December 1994, APT employs interactive multi-arts approaches in conflict transformation, peace-building, and development. It uses traditional African methods like theatre and story telling, but also employs elements of Augusto Boal’s forum theatre. The APT deals with the question, how conflicts can be solved peacefully and uses theatre as a means of conflict transformation. It aims to preserve the traditional African knowledge of peace, conflict solutions, and development, and to connect it with other cultures’ traditions and knowledge.
Awino Okech, trainer of the theatre workshop play4peace, has been working at APT in Nairobi for almost 10 years now. The APT has a very interesting internship programme!
More about the Amani People's Theatre