Indonesia : Promoting Tolerance and Dialogue through Interactive Theatre in Eastern Indonesia

Project Dates
November 2008 – October 2009

Overview

The Promoting Tolerance and Dialogue through Interactive Theatre in Eastern Indonesia project was designed to bring youth from conflict and post-conflict areas into productive dialogue through an innovative use of theatre, and to build local capacity for ongoing work in conflict prevention and mitigation. IREX Europe worked with an Indonesian counterpart, the Center for Civic Education-Indonesia (CCEI), to implement the project, which is funded by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Strategic Programme Fund.

Background

The project aimed at improving tolerance and countering radicalization by targeting its root causes, primarily the extremist dialogue that is leading youth in areas such as Eastern Indonesia toward violence and radicalism. This one-year program introduced a powerful method for helping young people to address and work through conflict, combining theatre, debate and reflection to create a “safe space” for exploring incendiary issues. This approach draws on Brazilian director Augusto Boal’s methodology, which has been used successfully around the world.

Two Theatre Exploration Camps drew young participants, ages 14-16, from four areas of Eastern Indonesia that had experienced significant conflict: Ambon, Lombok, Pasuruan, and Poso in Central Sulawesi. Approximately 100 in-school and out-of-school youth and teachers attended each 18-day camp, facilitated by specialists in interactive theatre methodology. A key component of the project was building local capacity in interactive theatre methodology by including training for teachers and local theatre professionals. Micro-grants were available to the teachers and theatre professionals to conduct follow-on interactive theatre initiatives after the camps.

Project Activities

- Training local theatre professionals and teachers to use interactive theatre techniques for conflict prevention and mitigation, enabling them to address conflict drivers with young people in their home regions and combat the voices of extremism and intolerance.

- Conducting camps for young Indonesians in East Java to engage them in interactive theatre and dialogue, with facilitation by specialists in theatre as a conflict mitigation tool. Through interactive plays they develop, youth will have a “safe space” to explore conflict triggers, address differences, and build tolerance of diversity.

- Supporting theatre professionals and teachers to implement interactive theatre activities in their home communities and schools to build tolerance and respect for diversity, and to prevent and mitigate conflict.

Project News

- After Conflict, Youth Use Theater to Bridge Differences in Indonesia



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