A documentary about the Joker Tsunami in Ukraine
Dear friends and colleagues,
it is the International Peace Day today, and we thought it would the right day to share with you our documentary film about the Joker Tsunami in Ukraine. The film shows the story of Ukrainian and international Jokers and activists who came together in the winter of 2014 to respond to increasing violence in Ukraine with theatre workshops and performances and to build alternative spaces for dialogue around the future of our country and our role in it.
At the time, none of us knew where history would take us. By now, the protests in Kiev have long been over, but did they bring the results many of us were looking for? That is a question which demands a complex answer. The conflict in the East of Ukraine continues, having by now caused almost 7000 deaths (both civilians and military) and over 2.3 million who had to leave their homes and become IDPs (internally displaced).
in this context, the seeds of Theatre of the Oppressed, which were planted a year and a half ago, are also springing up. For the last 6 months "Theatre for Dialogue" NGO has been working with the IDPs in and around Kiev, making forum theatre about their lives in the new city and the struggles they face as they seek to integrate and settle in. The play has been a great success as has by now toured 4 cities in the Eastern, South and Western Ukraine. The work has been so well received, that we saw the need to scale it up. We are therefore pleased to let you know that this week we are launching a new project, which will bring forum-theatre workshops and performances to 11 communities in the Kyiv region which host largest numbers of IDPs. The project will seek to build dialogue around community issues and create spaces for bottom-up participation of everyone in the life of the community, especially the IDPs. We are also making plans for reaching out to the Eastern regions of Ukraine, where the number of IDPs is the largest, and the emotional, social, economic and infrastructural damage from the conflict has been the most significant. Fingers crossed, we will have the news about opportunities to work there very soon. In addition to that, we continue to work with rights of under-represented groups, such a people with disabilities, women and youth. As our country moves on the path of reforms, we hope to make a contribution with our work towards creating more inclusive communities and policies that benefit everyone.
Much of this is possible thanks to the ongoing support and solidarity from the international community - whether in words, financially or through sharing of skills and experience. We highly appreciate your engagement with us and we want to assure you that we are committed to further spreading the work of TO in many more communities across the country, building a culture of peace, justice and solidarity across Ukraine.
In our presentations of the method we often like to quote the words of Augusto Boal "A small tree is better than a pile of rocks". In January 2014 we have jointly planted a small tree of TO in Ukraine. Now the tree is growing and is becoming stronger. To see how it all started, please watch the film here (the film is in Russian/Ukrainian/English with English subtitles when needed).
“Theatre for Dialogue” Team