Interesting approach to dealing with societal conflict
June 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
First, props to Ingrid for keeping everything alive! She’s been offering great insights and awesome posts. The girl’s on fire.
I’m always intrigued by innovative ways of dealing with conflict within society. There are several organizations out there taking very interesting approaches. One such example is that of Search for Common Ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are using
participatory theatre as a means of engaging people in conflict resolution. They recognize that conflict is a necessary element to society – it helps society evolve. They also recognize it is an important part of any drama.
They use theatre to demonstrate different sides of a conflict, allowing people to understand motivations and empathisize with each party’s point of view. Participatory theatre goes one step further, allowing audience members to come on stage and take on a role within the conflict. They participate in how the conflict happens and how it is treated. From this, an active understanding is achieved among the audience. They can then take this understanding into their daily lives and apply it to when they deal with everyday conflict.
It’s pretty awesome.
And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where conflict is systemic on various levels, this bottom-up approach of dealing with societal conflict is necessary.
Search for Common Ground has a training manual on it titled Participatory Theatre for Conflict Transformation. It’s interesting and insightful.