The Gaza Monologues

Delegation from the Palestinian Ministry of Education to the World Children's Theatre Festival in Lingen

Palestinian-German Dialogue on Theatre and Theatre Education

During the World Children's Theatre Festival in Lingen from 23 to 29 June a delegation of the Palestinian Ministry of Education will speak about theatre in schools at the Theatre Pedagogical Institute of Osnabrück University in Lingen.

The ministry wants to establish an academy for the education and further training of teachers in cultural subjects, theatre, music and the fine arts in Ramallah.

The working group Church and Theatre in the Protestant Church in Germany has been conducting a dialogue on theatre and theatre education with the theatres and universities in Palestine together with the Theatre Pedagogical Institute Lingen for 10 years.

A network between Palestinian and German theatres, training centres, associations, theatre educators, theatre makers and theatre scientists was developed and in addition an Internet portal for information exchange www.masrah-theater.net

The development of the Palestinian theatre landscape, especially for children and young people and theatre at school, is to be driven forward. Annual conferences and workshops are held in Palestine and Germany and festivals and projects are planned. Palestinian society is young. More than half of the population in the West Bank (approx. 2.5 million) is under 19 years old, in Gaza even under 15 years, of the approx. 2 million inhabitants there.  The occupation, military oppression, as well as other political and economic pressures, have deep, negative influences on family life and everyday life. Children and young people suffer from social evils, armed conflicts and oppression to a very special degree.

Von links stehend: Riyad Sawalha, Andreas Poppe, Johannes Klaus, Jörg Meyer, Bernd Ruping, Klaus Hoffmann, sitzend: Eman Ali, Samah Hussein

Standing from left to right: Riyad Sawalha, Andreas Poppe, Johannes Klaus, Jörg Meyer, Bernd Ruping, Klaus Hoffmann, sitzend: Eman Ali, Samah Hussein

Can theatre be an effective tool for children's needs? Can the power of the theatre be effective in overcoming conflicts and problems.  What kind of aesthetic and methodological experiences theatre educators make? What effectiveness and sustainability are to observe. The Palestinian representatives will talk about this with Andreas Poppe and Jörg Meyer from the Theatre Education Institute in Lingen, Johannes Klaus from the Folkwang University(Germany) and Klaus Hoffmann from the Church and Theatre Working Group in the Protestant Church in Germany. The training and further education of theatre teachers and a curriculum will also be discussed.

In Germany theatre education has developed rapidly in the past few years. It has a permanent place in schools and cultural institutions, but also in social institutions or in healing professions.

Art and culture also play an important role in Palestinian society today. Although people suffer from the never-ending conflict, art and culture are not a luxury. On the contrary, they are vital for the question of dignity, self-determination and identity. Especially in theatre it is possible to communicate who you are and who you want to be. Spectators can become actors. Theatre is also a bridge between Palestine and the rest of the world. Especially for Palestinian children living in a more or less closed country, this external contact is important in order to think about their own culture, to make contacts and to arrange cooperation. This contact also offers the opportunity to be ambassadors of their culture.

 

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