Project title: Open-Minded Me: Unmasking Prejudices and Stereotypes through Interactive Theatre
Donor: International Organization for Migrations (IOM)
Duration: August 2019 – January 2020
Location: Banja Luka, Gradiška, Kozarska Dubica, Laktaši and Prijedor
The main target group were adolescents (14-17 years of age), living in communities which are (like whole B&H) overburdened with prejudices and stereotipes, lack of tolerance and absence of the cooperation and communication. More than 2200 young people from diverse communities (i.e. rural, sub-urban, ethnically diverse) have attended interactive theatre play and have participated in accompanying facilitated discussion on issues addressed in the play.
Theatre play Open minded me has sought to increase young people’s understanding of the potential threats underlying prejudices/ stereotypes and ethno-nationalist narratives. By engaging youth directly in theatre plays and facilitated discussion on contemporary socio-political phenomena of violence and its multiple manifestations, this activity has increased community resilience to radicalization and potential manipulation by VE actors.
Why theatre drama play?
Drama is the most significant model of learning and is a basic activity for learning. It is the way of helping children to think about their individual or social problems. Children can learn to explore issues, events and connections, by means of drama.
When you want to educate children (as it is the case with the drama play “Open minded me”) on topics such as stereotypes and prejudices but also friendship, tolerance and solidarity then the method of theatre drama plays helps to establish good relationships in the school and further more in the local community. Students thus build a positive image of themselves, develop empathy by understanding the different situations that character (colours) sets them up in our performance, and acquire moral, ethical, cultural and other values.
The ability to argue their own opinion is demonstrated during an interactive part of the play (facilitated discussion) where children explain what behaviours they found to be good or bad (acceptable or unacceptable). Children, through argumentation, develop critical thinking, they learn how to accept different opinions, and thus to accept others and others.