During the second week we could implement all the theory about forum theatre that we learned. All the training we have undergone with Chakrapani & Team dancing and acting helped us feel more confident with the performance we had to do in slums, a village and in a school. At the beginning of the week it seemed for us very complicated to create our own script after the different social mappings. We were eleven people with different opinions and points of view. Hence it wasn’t easy at the beginning to put our ideas together. Our knowledge about forum theatre wasn’t very high and we also needed some help to represent the habits of people in India. Our director Chakrapani helped us do the things in the Indian style, like cleaning clothes, the open defecation, the way of carrying water or sweeping. We were showing everything only with body language by some sounds and music. Finally, we all were quite satisfied with our first script. We were ready to act!
Our first presentation in public was in a slum, around Mysore, where we conducted social mapping the week before. To our surprise when we arrived there lots of people especially the kids, seemed to be happy to see us again. We spend some time trying to attract the community singing, dancing and walking around. Some journalists were also very interested in the project of FSL-India. In that moment some of us realised that there were high expectations of us and that we were involved in a significant program. The play was good and the public was glad to see us. At the end we could interview and talk with some of the audience. A part of them realized that they should change some behaviours related to waste, water, sanitation and other health issues.
The second acting was in a village during the Independence Day, the 15th of August. The children from local school were dancing and celebrating with their families, teachers and relatives. After some speeches we performed forum theatre. It was very interesting for us to act again because we could see different reactions –and also lots of laughs to see white people dancing and trying to act like Indian people. Beyond the laughs, we were sure that the community thinks about the themes from the performance.
It was very nice to visit and to do some social mapping in a governmental school. The children, director and the teachers were very open-minded and were interested in a Health on Stage project. Having understood their difficulties in the school and at home, we started our second script. It was easier to create because we had more experience and were working all as a group together. The results of our work were very good, because a teacher and a pupil explained the others, at the end of the performance, what they have seen and how to be more aware about waste, sanitation and health.
The last show of the week was in another slum which we could perform after the social mapping. It wasn’t easy to get the attention of the people, maybe because we arrived during the lunch time and it was very sunny. However, we could learn how to motivate the audience and to believe strongly in our work.
In conclusion, we can say that during this week we have worked a lot and we understand more our tasks in the work camp. We can also confirm that forum theatre is a good way to show real problems and make some people talking and thinking about. The first step to change something is to be aware of it. In addition, our group is getting more and more together and we are right now like a little family, respecting and loving our differences.
To view the video footage on HOS at Mysore click on the following web-link
Marion & Clara
Health on Stage Volunteers