School Theatre Workshops @ JahangirpuriNovember 7, 2017
“I want to play football. Every morning before the school starts, all of us go to the park and play football with bhaiya and didi. Through this play, I was able to tell everyone what I want to be- a Football player!”
-Shaina, 13, is a resident of Jahangirpuri and is the eldest daughter in the family of four. Shaina has a father to look after her and three of her siblings. Recently, they came in contact with another NGO that works with Sports towards empowerment. Shaina likes playing football and as a participant in our workshops, she got the opportunity to tell her neighbours and community members that she wants to be a Football player.
Our second intervention in Jahangirpuri took place during the summer vacations in 2016. We conducted a 2-week long Expressive Arts’ workshop with students of K-Block School, aged 13-18. A small portable cabin within the school compounds was used for these workshops.
2 batches were created of girls and boys separately, with each of them coming in shifts. The workshops ran in the same time frame as their class schedules so it was easy for parents to send their children at the requisite time.
The focus of these workshops was a little different. Participants were asked to bring up instances and stories from their communities, which were then moulded into a short interactive performance. Through the course of the workshops, we introduced children to different techniques of theatre. Students really seemed to enjoy the warm up games and exercises, making the workshops light and easy for the participants. Constant power shortages coupled with the perpetual heat of June couldn’t deter the enthusiasm of these children. We normally see a decline in workshop participation as days progress, but this experience was a terrific exception. Half-way through our sessions, more students approached us, only to be denied participation because of paucity of space.
The facilitators also worked with Playback Theatre. This was the first time we had used this technique in a community setup. Instances of everyday life narrated by the participants were enacted by the facilitators. Seeing us take on their roles, some children volunteered to perform themselves.
The resultant performances were then showcased to parents and other community members. Another Playback Theatre exercise followed as a part of the consequent discussions. It is only from these discussions that we got a sense of the actual problems in the community. Municipally and administratively ignored, Jahangirpuri presents us with acute problems of urbanisation and exclusion. The seething levels of inter-community issues, coupled with inhabitable living conditions, make Jahangirpuri a complex area to deal with.
Our work with families and children continues. We are looking for partners to help strengthen our community presence and create opportunities for social entrepreneurship and self empowerment in the area.
Thread For Humanity
- Workshops with Stakeholders at Delhi Judicial Academy
- Expressive Arts Workshops with ‘Children in Conflict with Law’
- Home/Away International Theatre Festival
- Intensive Theatre Workshops @ Aadharshila Observation Home for ‘Children in Conflict with Law’
- School Theatre Workshops @ Jahangirpuri
- Community Outreach Workshops @ Jahangirpuri