Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Social Theatre Training in Istanbul

I am happy and proud that I am able to do something more in-depth and with a higher multiplying effect: a multiple days training on Forum Theatre for other EVS volunteers and as well local volunteer from TOG (Istanbul Region).

One of the participants wrote also an article about it that appeared in the web site of TOG.

I am copying the article below because seems that can appear problems with the TOG website:

Masters of changes

During this weekend (16-17th of the January) there was held a training, named „Forum Theatre“ organized by Andreea-Loredana Tudorache. She came from Romania for a year (2009-2010) to do her EVS in TOG, Izmir, with her own project "Challenge YOU and YOUR community".

In the training were participating 10 people and as training language was english, besides turkish participants, also other EVS from Istanbul and some erasmus students were participating. The main idea of the training was to teach participants new training method, so they could use it as a tool to make people aware of social problems around them and how everyone, including themselves, can be a part of changes, how averyone is actually can become a master of changes.


As a method, I believe it was satisfying for few days. I would be happy if it was longer. Actually in the beginning it wasn‘t very clear in my head, but at the end I could understand how the process works. I think to be a part of the play is the most effective way to to really understand the idea of theatre, so I could use it later.

Image Theatre

After the team building people were introduced to some power games and image theatre, which basicaly consists of building different statues from people, showing their mood, atmosphere of the situation played and etc.

Forum Theatre

Theatre creates space and distance, which allows sensitive topics like for exaample sexuality or violence to be addressed in an indirect way. Some issues feel too close and hard to talk about publicly, and drama enables people to explore personal issues safely and outside taboos. By discussing characters and their motivations, you can express your own ideas without feeling exposed. Interactive theatre creates a transitional space where you can safely try on different roles and test out new ways of behaving before using them in real life.


It‘s the first time I experiencened something like that, when you‘re put in to the different roles, so you have to consider the point of view of different people as an actor, but as we always switched roles, I was also able to step back and see the whole picture, so you can get a chance to look at the situation and at the same time to participate in the situation. Usually you‘re in the situation or looking at it, and there we could be both.

The purpose of Forum Theatre is to create a space where people can express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. In Forum Theatre, the main character confronts oppression, an unjust use of power that is maintained by a threat of force. Even though they are victimized, someone who is oppressed is not the same as a victim because victims don’t fight back. The oppressed confronts a problem, analyzes what is happening and takes action to change his or her situation.


All the participants were included in two plays that they were creating by themselves according to the problems, searching possibilities to solve them. Situations played were about two main topics this time: domestic violence and discrimination. During the training all the participants were included in the process, so everyone could become and actor and the one, who has the power to change something.

At the end of every exercise, play or workshop, there was a time to discuss the opinions, ideas about what had just happened. Surprisingly everyone was eager to share some ideas about what was going on at the moment and what could be done in the future, so everyone was included and felt free to express their opinion. After the training, people were encuraged to share ideas, what could be done about some problems dicussed before and how this method could be used in their job.


It was really good opportunity to learn new things. For my point of view, it was a nice training and method used during training, it helps to develope yourself, I think. I didn‘t hear about this method before. I am working in youth organisation, so I think that I will share my experiences with job friends and use that method in my future work. I am doing some meetings about youth policy and problems, so I can do some similar training as well. I am sure I will try to organize this training in the future.

( author of the article Renata GylytÄ—)

It was a challenging weekend because I wanted to empower these volunteers for actually be able to use the method after the training/ or to be really motivated to make further steps in use elements of the methods in their work or even to make more reading and research about it.

The immediate feedback was really good, constructive and I wish that this beautiful young people will continue in the field and act same as the responsible citizens they were performing on the stage and continue to change the lives of the victims or vulnerable people around them.

We approached 2 main topics in the performances and in the discussions: domestic violence and discrimination of scarfed Muslim girls.

Thank you for participating in this training and keep me updated about the future work in relation with Social Theatre!!!

“Challenge YOU and YOUR community” represent an EVS project (European Voluntary Service) implemented by A.R.T. Fusion(Romania) and TOG (Community Volunteers, Turkey) financed by trough Youth in Action Programme by Romanian National Agency.

The opinions expressed in this article belong 100% to its author!

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