Art and Conscientization

Forum Theatre in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, and South Sudan

Claus Schrowange

ibidem Press

Art and Conscientization

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Pub Date: September 2015

ISBN: 9783838208176

120 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $26.00

Pub Date: September 2015

ISBN: 9783838268170

120 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $15.99

Art and Conscientization

Forum Theatre in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, and South Sudan

Claus Schrowange

ibidem Press

How can the performing arts add value to peacebuilding programs? Is it possible to use participatory theatre to reconnect and reconcile enemies? What is the trauma-healing effect for those acting in a theatre troupe?

Claus Schrowange has explored these questions and the opportunities of using forum theatre in peace work in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, and DR Congo. His conclusion is that forum theatre is more than mere entertainment. It is an aesthetic tool for social change. But the value of theatre is not generated automatically, the way it is done matters. If it is done in a participatory manner with an authentic, believable acting style, involving both the audience and stage actor in a vivid and touching experience, the impact is immediately felt. This book presents the approach Schrowange developed together with a team of African theatre practitioners in a variety of circumstances and environments. It is illustrated with case studies taken from the author's direct experience of using the approach he describes in Eastern DR Congo and Rwanda.
Long-term peace work is based on the assumption that "peace grows from within". This means consequently that the main task of a peace worker is to reinforce local capacities for peace in order to obtain sustainable civil solutions. The rich experience with forum theatre in different African countries (DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan) that Claus Schrowange has made and been able to summarize in this book is a remarkable contribution in this regard. Christiane Kayser, Coordinator, Civil Peace Service Network, Bread for the World
Forum theatre opens avenues for reconciliation and trauma healing. Some of the people Claus Schrowange describes in this book, who were affected by violent conflicts, may now lead fuller and freer lives, with the burden of their past shared and reduced. Joshua Kasereka Lusenge, Coordinator, APRED-RGL, Kigali, Rwanda
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Why theatre and what is "Forum Theatre"?
3. The way we do Forum Theatre
4. Touring with Badilika in DR Congo and Rwanda
5. Trauma-healing through theatre
6. Conclusion
Appendix A. Myth Busting Through Forum Theatre in South Sudan
Appendix B. Sharing Magic Moments
Appendix C. Photo Speak
Appendix D. Maps
Theatre Literature

About the Author

Claus Schrowange is a peace worker with a passion for theatre. During his professional career he became fascinated by the Movement Theatre approach of Gabor Csetneki, Improvisation Theatre of Keith Johnstone, and Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed. He combined the three approaches into a unique acting style that provokes critical thinking and enhances dialogue on peace-related sensitive issues. From 2010 to 2015, he established various forum theatre troupes in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, and DR Congo, exploring the possibilities and limitations of theatre for peace work. He has worked in rural low-literacy communities as well as with the urban intellectual elite. Claus Schrowange currently lives in Kigali, Rwanda.