Association for Educational Development EKVALIS was partner in the implementation of the project “ Recognizing and Acting Against Bullying through Theater “. Тhe project was supported by the Foundation Open Society through an individual grant awarded to Angel Dimitrievski, a youth worker in Ekvalis.
The goal of this project was to raise awareness among high school students on the negative influences of bullying and to generate solutions for solving these problems through theater as a platform for youth activism.
The main activities of the project were:
- High school youth exchange- The youth exchange engaged 17 high school students from Skopje on a 4 day intensive program that enabled them to discuss the reasons of bullying in the high schools and illustrated concrete examples from different forms of bullying. The exchange equipped the participants to offering solutions for resolving situations on bullying while using theater as a creative platform for articulation of youth voice and empowering youth agency. As a results of the youth exchange the participants created three theater performances for increasing the public awareness of issues related to bullying.
- Forum theater performances (also known as theater of the oppressed) that aims to combat marginalization of certain communities, to fight against oppression and to offer solutions for societal problems through theater. Forum Theater is a collection of plays and exercises where participants get to know their body and voice, they help others and learn team work. The participants performed two forum theater performances that highlighted the issues of psychological bullying in the classroom. Many attendees joined the interventions part and the solutions for the concrete scenes were resolved with the help of teachers, pedagogic workers, parents and institutional representatives.
- Shadow Theater- also known as shadow puppetry, is an ancient form of storytelling which uses flat articulated cut-out figures (shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim. The cut-out shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing. Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets and the light source. The high school students from this project created three shadow scenes that highlighted the problems of cyber-bullying. All created scenes involved the students into the creation of stories, handmade puppet creation and working with lights. The scenes were performed at the first Shadow Theater in Macedonia.
- Frozen Image Theater- is one of the more widely used forms of Theater of the Oppressed, in which activists, students or any group are invited to form statues that represent a moment in time of an oppressive situation. The image can then serve as a springboard for critical group reflection in order to both understand the situation better and to try out possible “solutions.” The project participants had 3 public performances through the Frozen Image Theater where they simulated scenes of physical violence in a school yard. The scenes provoked interest and curiosity among the people who were passing by.
You can watch the video of all theater public performances here.