ATC was invited by The Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies at the University of Duhok in partnership with New York University and The Center for Global Affairs to present our paper, Helping Helpers: Establishing Creative Space to Support Educators Teaching History and Peacebuilding in Iraq, at the first ever interdisciplinary academic symposium on Peacebuilding and Education in Iraq. The symposium was held in Duhok, Iraq with support from the U.S. State Department and UNICEF, among others.
Our paper took an international approach to discuss how storytelling and applied theatre methodologies can foster spaces to support educators and practitioners who are teaching history and peacebuilding in post-conflict settings. In addition to presenting the paper, ATC led a 90-minute interactive workshop in which symposium participants explored the theme of "support" through arts-based strategies, including storytelling methodologies, which can be used by educators, social workers, and other “helpers” as a way to more effectively carry out their work, particularly in divided societies.
Catcalls, sexist comments, flashing, groping, stalking, and assault. During International Anti-Street Harassment Week, people worldwide spoke out about gender-based street harassment and worked toward solutions.
ATC participated in New York City's "Meet Us on the Street" Rally in Washington Square Park. We led a breakout session called Music Box Protest. Through the use of rhythmic drumming, instantaneous images, sounds, and repeatable gestures participants musically gave voice to the thoughts that run through their heads the moment street harassment occurs. Our belief is that the only way to brainstorm healthy and safe strategies to reduce such harassment is to speak to and heal from the experiences themselves first.
Throughout Sexual Violence Awareness Month, ATC in partnership with The Man Question, led a series of four workshops to create an interactive performance to give voice to those who have a stake in ending sexual violence. The first workshop brought together a group of men and women who in subsequent workshops separated into groups by gender to explore this topic before reuniting in front of an audience. Twelve participants worked together to break the silence against sexual violence, discuss why it happens, how people heal, and how to end it. Participants found ways to theatrically represent conversations they had throughout the rehearsal process for an audience that helped to take the dialogue even further. Stay tuned for information on our upcoming gender series this fall.
ATC presented a participatory workshop on the work of Brazilian theatre director and cultural activist, Augusto Boal at New York University. The team used Theatre of the Oppressed techniques as a method to provide participants an opportunity to explore the complexity of human exchange. In addition to this interactive presentation of work, ATC also presented a short case study of work done in Afghanistan with participatory theater between 2008 and 2011 as a means of raising transitional justice and human rights concerns.
ATC in collaboration with the New York Peace Institute held an interactive and performative exploration of applied theater methods for mediators. The workshop aimed to provide mediators with a variety of dynamic group exercises that stimulate creativity, teamwork, listening skills, and problem solving. The session was designed to illuminate the different ways theater can be used to build capacity through dialogue.
Celebrating Community was an applied theatre-based research project that took place in the Appalachian region of the United States with a community of Child and Family Services workers. This project consisted of two five hour workshops that were co-created with participants and co-facilitated by members of the ATC. The strategies we used included storytelling, scene devising, and Image Theatre to explore the question, “How can applied theatre techniques illuminate the assets (or underlying strengths) and inter-personal conflicts and concerns of a specific population of Child and Family Specialists?” In addition to this research question, our team explored how applied theatre methods could provide opportunities for play, connection, and solidarity within this particular community of Child and Family Specialists.