Drama Experts Train Seeds Theatre Group Inc. on the use of Drama to Educate and Address GBV and Sorcery Related Violence

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Seeds Theatre Group Inc recently completed a training session, facilitated by the University of Goroka and The Queensland University of Technology, Creative Media Unit. The UOG/QUT team includes Jackie Kauli, Dilen Doiki and Julie Toliman Jnr and with Verena Thomas, whom facilitated the training and coordinating with the partners involved in the project. Two Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) from Simbu, Monica Paulus and Christine Kombugun, also took part in the five day workshop.

The training session was held at the Rainforest Habitat, Unitech. The objective of the workshops is to ensure participants understand GBV and sorcery related violence through the use of drama. Team Leader Jackie Kauli stressed that the topics covered in the workshop strongly focus on the over reaching theme of GBV and sorcery related violence. During the first workshop the facilitators introduced Seeds Theatre Group Inc. to the types of drama forms that they can use to uncover stories related to key themes on GBV and sorcery related violence and how this impacts on their lives, their families lives and their communities lives. On the last day of the 5 day session, the participants had collectively developed a performance that captures some of the stories that emerged from the workshop. The stories were fictional, however this had helped the participants draw from their real lived experience to create the scripts and performances.

The workshop was beneficial for participants as it enabled Seeds Theatre Group members to conclude the workshops with greater understanding of character development, dialogue and setting, and in turn gave them the tools required to further enhance the scripts that have already been developed. The workshop uses drama techniques to gather ideas,thoughts and a plot that might be useful for the ”Women Not Witches” film script. A team from UN Women and led by Luisa Vodonaivalu, were present during the last days of the workshop and were able to see first hand the ideas being put into action by participants.

Apart from the drama workshop, the team has also learned how to monitor the progress of their work. Some key points that the participants learned throughout the workshop, that can help them collect and monitor the progress of their work are listed below:

Qualitative Data Collection

– Observational data collection
– Feedback forms
– Journal entries
– Collecting stories
– Focus groups discussions post performance

Quantitative Data Collection

– Counting number of people that attend your performance
– Counting number of communities
– Collective feedback forms

The workshop is part of a series of workshops which will be completed before the group tours the Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea next year and using drama to educate and address the issues of GBV and Sorcery Related Violence.

The one year project is supported by:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the United Nations Pacific Facility Fund (UN Women)

The Canadian Government through its embassy in Australia also intends to support the project by funding the construction of a Multi Learning Centre in Lae so that all training and workshops can be conducted in the facility.