Training in London -18-22 June

Give and Gain 
The forthcoming training week in London builds on the work already undertaken by the project partners in Adana and Bologna, with a view to developing theatre-based methodologies that allow participants to generate creative and productive responses to the challenges faced both by refugees and by host communities at the current moment. Theatre will be explored as a social, cultural and political space of dialogue, with the aim of generating empathy, exchange and understanding, such as will lead to positive policy outcomes.

The first two days will offer a framing narrative and a toolkit for theatrical exploration. Dr Marilena Zaroulia (Senior Lecturer in Drama, University of Winchester) will give an initial talk on the current situation in relation to theatre, refugees and the perceived “crisis” in Europe. Zoe Lafferty will discuss her highly significant production QUEENS OF SYRIA. Eleanor Brown and Egle Banelyte of CARAS will lead a training session on the protocols of work with refugee communities. Michael Walling (Artistic Director) and Lucy Dunkerley (Associate Director) will lead a series of dramatic exercises, drawing on participants’ own knowledge and creativity to develop an appropriate tool kit for working with and around refugees. Brian Woolland (playwright and director) will facilitate reflective responses to the work.

On Wednesday and Thursday, participants will divide into small, diverse groups to undertake a series of visits to other organisations working in this field. These will include: Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (local authority), Westway Trust (community organisation), CARAS (refugee organisation, particularly the women’s group), Cavendish School, St Charles Sixth Form College, Refugee Therapy Centre, Red Cross, Counterpoints Arts (talk at V&A Museum), Clowns without Borders, Borderlines (refugee theatre group), Free West Papua (refugees - tbc). There will also be visits to a number of performances on the Thursday evening, and the whole group will visit the Museum of Migration.

On Friday, each group will be invited to present a short theatrical piece, made using the tools explored early in the week, and responding to what they have discovered during their field visits. These performances will lead to further reflection and discussion around the key issues raised by the week’s work.