2014 was a year of experiment and innovation for CCDC. We would like to share the highlights with you.
We continued our work with students - education has always been our main thrust area - but this year we did longer workshops, and were able to use Forum Theatre to address issues in the community.
Some of the students from Parikrma, a school for children from underserved communities, where CCDC worked for 6 months.
We explored a different pedagogy with students of the National School of Drama, TIE Wing, in Agartala, deepening our TO workshops with stronger theoretical inputs.
A TO Class- with students of the TIE programme at the National
School of Drama, Agartala.
We took a bold step when we partnered with Act For Change and Oxford University Dramatic Society and explored the use of Forum Theatre for creating awareness about Mental Health.
Over 1000 people witnessed and participated in Megha's Story,
our play on Mental Health, which toured Goa and Delhi,
in September 2014.
With a group of politically conscious women in Karur in Tamil Nadu, we did a series of 12 workshops, exploring personal and community issues, and redefining community leadership.
Image theatre in a village in Karur
We held our fourth facilitator training in Bangalore in May 2014. 26 participants form various parts of the country participated in this 6 day training which culminated in a public Forum Theatre performance. The 6 day training included an optional one day workshop on ROD.
Participants from the 2014 Facilitator Training, with CCDC
members Ram, Ravi and Radha
We were invited to conduct several short workshops in schools and colleges.
Forum Rehearsal at My School, Bangalore
Medical Humanities workshop, JSS Medical College, Mysore
We capped it all with Diversity Dialogues - our first National Conference of Theatre of the Oppressed, bringing together writers, activists, TO practitioners and performers from all over India!
A scene from a Forum play, jokered by Sanjoy Ganguly, as part of Diversity Dialogues 2014.
A presentation by Shekhar Sheshadri at Diversity Dialogues
We enjoyed having the following students as interns and volunteers:
Karen from Swaraj University , Emilie and Hannah from LIU Global, Ashima from Azim Premji University and , Annapoorna - a high school student from Bangalore
We are looking forward to building on these rich experiences of 2014, with exciting new activities in 2015!
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2015 at CCDC
As we approach the close of 2015, we recommit ourselves to using TO for dialogue across differences. More than at any other time, the world needs TO now - mistrust and suspicion and fear are making people retreat into smaller and smaller worlds.
Therefore we are extremely grateful, as we look back on 2015, to the many, many friends who supported us through this past year in different ways - coming to watch our forums, participating in our workshops, recommending our workshops to friends and colleagues, connecting us with more and more communities.
And of course, to all BJs, for staying connected despite so many pressures. Braving the Bangalore traffic to come together to make Forums happen. Sharing experiences on the group and on Google hangouts. Pouring in support so generously, we wish the whole world could see how TO magic builds community!
We would like to share with you the highlights of our activities in 2015.
A Forum a month
This year, we experimented with a thought- what if we did a Forum a month, in different areas of Bangalore, with different communities, and tried to create dialogues on important issues?
We knew this would be a challenge, because, a) we do not have a fixed team of actors , and volunteer actors have to find time to come together every time there's a forum. b) we must find communities and spaces to hold our Forums and c) we need to have plays that different communities would find relevant and meaningful.
Well, we are nothing if not adventurous!
And, guess what!! We performed 14 forum shows in 2015! ( Find a full list of our forums at the end of this report)
Education has always been our topmost priority, so we are delighted to report that in 2015 we amde deeepr inroads into educational spaces in different cities.
Both Ravi and Radha were invited to teach TO courses for undergraduate students. These courses at Azim Premji University ( Theatre for Dialogue and Change) and Mount Carmel College (Development Communication) were a part of the main academic curriculum, and we hope to be able to do these courses every year.
We have always believed that if we wish to impact classroom transactions, we need to work with teacher educators. So we were excited when we received an invitation to work for 3 days with teacher educators from Delhi University's BElEd colleges. There were some truly great moments - of profound learning, tremendous enthusiasm, and awe inspiring courage.
RRCEE , Delhi
Yet another feather in our cap- Radha has been invited to be a member of the committee preparing a theatre curriculum for the 2 year B.Ed programme being introduced at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences( TISS) , Mumbai.
In addition to these two significant achievements,
- our annual 6 Day facilitator training in May had 30 participants from different parts of India - Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Manipur - and Bangladesh.
Six day training, Bangalore
- Ravi conducted workshops in Medical Humanties at Devaraj Urs Medical College, Kolar, JSS Medical College, Mysore, MS Ramaiah Medical College, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal.
Image theatre at MS Ramaiah medical college
Image theatre at JSS Medical college, Mysore
- Radha jokered a forum performance by the students and staff of The Banyan, an NGO that works in the area of Mental Health, at the Global Mental Health Summit in Mumbai.
- Other workshops - with undergraduate Arts students at Malur Government College, students of Media Studies at CMS Jain University, (both facilitated by Ravi ), with the staff at Ekalavya, an NGO working in the field of education in Bhopal, and with students from the University of Washington in Seattle. ( Radha and Ravi).Workshop at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore
Workshop at CMS Jain University
Workshop at Eklavya, Bhopal
Workshop for Malur Government College students
How we share and brush up on the theory: The participants from our facilitator trainings- Bangalore Jokers or BJs as we call ourselves- have spread out far and wide in India and outside, and many of us stay in touch through Skype chats and Google hangouts to revisit the theory through an examination of our practice. Some of our discussion topics have been - Theatre is schools- learnings and challenges, Forum theatre with children, Understanding the "oppressor" and the "oppressed" , Experience sharing on Invisible Theatre , Language in theatre workshops for teachers.
Our interns and volunteers keep us on our toes!
Thank you, Prasashya, Harshvardhan, Ben, and Chetan! We loved having you with us.
In 2016, we hope to engage with communities on a long term basis.
Starting April 2016, we are collaborating with the Public Health Foundation of India on an exciting 3 year project on Mental Health. The project will train youth to be community jokers and facilitators in the use of Forum Theatre for mental health awareness.
We look forward to connecting with you all through these and many more programmes in the coming year.
Wishing you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR,
Radha, Ram, Ravi (Sr) and Ravi (Jr)
Here's a list of CCDC's Forums in 2015, jokered by Radha and Ravi.