الأحد، 15 أبريل، 2012

oppressed theater field performance

Pana Centre and CBRI program intend to mobilize communities in their Areas of Responsibility (AoR) within the Kirkuk governorate through the Grassroots Theater Initiative (GTI). The GTI approach that was started by the Ashtar Theatre Group in Palestine has been customized to respond to the Iraqi context, helping citizens and participants in the AoR understand and address the underlying drivers of conflict and violence in their communities through the approach of TO and Forum theater. The activity aimed to conduct five Forum Theater plays performed by the 16trained theater artists who received one month CBRI sponsored training on the Theater of the Oppressed (TO) methodology and technique.

 This is a term created by Augusto Boal to describe those engaged in Forum theatre. It refers to the dual role of those involved in the process as both spectator and actor, as they both observe and create dramatic meaning and action in any performance.

Forum theatre is a form of TO speak on behalf of people to give them an opportunity to express their feelings in an active and creative way within a democratic environment through transporting the viewer from inactive receiving status to active participation through a solution finding  journey. When the play has been performed, members of the audience can take over the stage and suggest alternative options for how the protagonist could have acted. The actors explore the results of these choices with the audience creating a kind of theatrical debate, in which experiences and ideas are rehearsed and shared, generating both solidarity and a sense of empowerment.

The average of widows has increased in Iraqi society caused by the constant wars on Iraq. This forgotten category in the community suffers from oppression and persecution and exclusion which make them sometimes vulnerable to physical harassment and physical, verbal violence.

The determined topic is one of the most potential issues in Iraq as the number of widows is in increasing which have reached over five million widows. Between roughness of life and oppressive comments by people around , they struggle to survive and rise what has left from their families. As the matter of fact they are considered victims of wars and sometimes victims of domestic problems. The theatre play had left a great impact in spectator’s point of view as it is treating mentioned issue.


The characters in the play were, Damaa as the widow and her three sons, Abu-Sadiq representing the brother of Damaa’s husband, tariq who wanted to marry Damaa was Abu-Sadiq’s brother the office employees acted as well and Damaa’s father and her Brother.

The theme of the play highlights the suffering and the oppression of a previously chosen case – in this instance the main protagonist is Damaa (the widow) who had completed her studies and earned bachelors she is her thirties, her husband Abu-firas died in a terrorist attack, she is  mother of three sons. Abu-Sadiq her husband’s brother in his fifties, dominant and greedy so effected by customs and traditions  attempting to enforce Damaa to comply with the traditions and customs inherited in society. he demands Damaa to marry his brother Tariq .After the death of the husband Damaa’s life turns upside down she faces sequent social and economical pressure Making her think repeatedly about suicide. She tries to go against the grain to struggle those challenges, but she finds herself alone against traditions and customs and people’s comments. however, Damaa refuses and she insists to support her three sons alone by finding a job. She submits to several companies but she gets refused for the reason of her social status and also she refused one to avoid harassments.
 Although she has no income to support her family abu-sadiq offers her two options either agreeing the marriage or giving away her properties to cover abu-fras’s condolences payments as he assumed. On another hand her father and brother try to persuade her to get married in order to avoid people’s comments, thus the play ends with Damaa’s surrender and falling on the ground with a scream under the pressure of people around.

.The original theme of the play ends here showing a disheartened  Damaa on stage finally falling down disappointed of  her family and people around., Jokers facilitates and encourages different audience to identify and address sources of conflict The impressive. performance of the character Abu-Sadiq drew audience attention in the scene that he takes over Damaa’s properties few audience found solution for Damaa after the end of the show and among all scenes they concentrated on this scene to find solution directly following the end of the show, spectators from the audience are chosen and encouraged by the Joker to complete the show by acting out the role of Damaa on the stage. The audience participants are thus given the opportunity to propose and find solutions to Damaa’s encountered problems and instances of oppression of Damaa.

prepared by Awara Wahab