The Sambhaavnaa Institute is organizing a Workshop on Jokering Justice: Immersion into the Theatre of the Oppressed from August 31 – September 5, 2022.
About the Sambhaavnaa Institute
The Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics’ mission is to nurture value-based leadership by encouraging individuals, especially the youth, to reflect, discuss and develop a critical perspective on the ideals and ideas that define a ‘just’ society.
Is culture just art and architecture or is there more to it? How does it affect our lives? Does it only exist in the past, to be observed from a distance?
The irony is embedded in everything around us, as indigenous and folk forms of expression, like Warli Art, are being capitalised upon to be put on objects, like laptop covers and backpacks.
Does this constitute cultural work? Or is this the new normal for ‘culture’? What does culture mean for us? How can we problematize ‘culture’? How is culture performatively made? How does culture lend itself to multiple interpretations?
These are the kinds of questions we’d like to engage with … through theatre. Theatre has always been synonymous with culture – not just a form through performance, but something posing with its dual nature as both the mirror and the window.
Just like any other journey, culture moves and grows without structural frameworks. It is non-linear and chaotic in its extension. Through this non-linearity and chaos, we will try to evoke different conversations and stimulate our imaginations.
About the Workshop
The focus of this workshop is on people who have had some level of exposure to the praxis of TOTO. This exposure may include the introductory level workshop at Sambhaavnaa Institute or at any other place.
In addition to this, this workshop will be useful for people who already have some experience of practicing TOTO in their respective fields with an intention to work on creating dialogic cultures.
The resource persons (Jaya Iyer and Zubair Idrisi), along with Sambhaavnaa Institute, want to create a space and community for individuals planning to engage in TOTO methods and practices in their respective fields. This could be any arena of social development and education among other spaces.
The idea is to create agents of change who would become TOTO practitioners in the future for issues related to justice, equality and transformation. This workshop, which is the second and intermediate level, is a 6-day workshop.
It will focus on participatory processes which offers people/groups the possibility of articulating sociopolitical and cultural issues in form of short plays and creating a structure in which an active dialogue between the actors and the spectators is instigated in order to try and change the story.
The work that we will do during these 6 days will be experiential, with a summary and debrief of the techniques involved:
- Space to connect within – reviewing and unpacking our personal contexts through the prisms of our own daily lives, work, community, etc.
- Diving deeper into different activities, related to our bodies, finding different modes of self-expression through a focus on our authentic voice
- Script forum and facilitation – principles of jokering and utilising these in different fields (e.g. facilitating large heterogeneous groups)
- Practicing invisible theatre to understand dialogue as an end in itself
- Understanding the politics of space and representation through an engagement with the modalities of symbols and spectacles
- Build an effective culture of dialogue for sustainable change
Dates and Venue: 31st August to 5th September, 2022, Sambhaavnaa Institute, VPO – Kandbari, Tehsil – Palampur, District – Kangra, PIN 176061, Himachal Pradesh
Who can attend?
This workshop is for change-makers, social work practitioners, activists, people associated with people’s movements, theatre artists who work on aspects of social change and young artists exploring techniques for social change.
The participants would be expected to be working with or be associated with TOTO in some way or demonstrate commitment for the same. It is also expected the participants would be able to joker (design, facilitate dialogic processes) workshops involving community members to create forum performances and initiate a cultural shift.
About the Facilitators
Jaya Iyer has been associated with various aspects of social development for over three decades. An awardee of many prestigious fellowships, Jaya is also a recipient of the UNESCO Aschberg Bursary to study the Theatre of the Oppressed with Augusto Boal.
As a theatre professional, she has developed and staged over 20 major productions and around 1000 studio, street and community performances. Her productions have won the prestigious Sahitya Kala Parishad “Best Play of the Year”, have been showcased in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Urdu theatre festival, Sriram summer festival, theatre for Truth festival etc.
Jaya was CEO of Pravah and led the process to set up the National Centre for Children and Youth in Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. She has been a guest faculty in Bachelor of Elementary Education, TIE, National Museum Institute and Disom School of Leadership. Jaya has designed and led various public campaigns around Seeds-sovereignty, Child Rights, Gender-based violence, Anti-plastic movements and Proactive Peacebuilding.
Zubair Idrisi has been a theatre practitioner for more than fifteen years. His area of interest lies in working around the transformative power of theatre in influencing social change. He specialises in theatre-based training and facilitation of workshops at individual, community and organizational level.
He has extensive experience in project design and coordination with a focus on youth-and gender-oriented programs. He has designed and executed various social campaigns as well, each addressing a specific cause or an issue.
His work with Pradan between 2017 and 2019 involved campaigns around gender-based violence, PDS distribution and the right to vote. Zubair has worked with multiple non-government, government and private organisations, along with students and teachers belonging to educational institutions as well.
These include UNICEF, Greenpeace, JAGORI, Sangat, PCI, and Teen Murti Bhawan, Nehru Learning Centre for Children and Youth and Government of India headquarters in New Delhi.
They hope that participants would contribute an amount of Rs. 6000/- towards workshop expenses, inclusive of all on-site workshop costs: boarding, lodging, and all the materials used in the workshop. Travel of participants will have to be borne by the organisation/the participants.
How to Register?
Interested participants can register for the workshop through this link.