The Role of Theatre in Peacebuilding

“Many artists today are deeply committed to making work that addresses pressing social issues and Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 18.18.08changes the way we perceive the world. While some artists use traditional forms of visual, literary, or performing arts to make work that comments on, responds to, or advocates for the need for change, others are exploring new forms of “social practice” that engages communities in an interactive exchange. Socially engaged art can ignite outrage and demands for change, and/or provide a platform for reflection, collaboration, and building community.” 

Istanbouli Theatre addresses social issues through theatre in the South of Lebanon. The organization was established with the aim of spreading a culture of arts, creativity and self-expression in the south of Lebanon where creative spaces, especially in the margin, are often absent. The association brings people together, promotes self-expression, openness and critical and creative thinking by 1) building the cultural, and audio-visual, capacities of youth in the south of Lebanon, 2) organizing cultural festivals and 3) creating a safe and neutral space for cultural and creative activities.

Tiro Assocation of Arts works together with a large number of local organizations such as the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality and local cultural initiatives and institutions. Currently, the most significant international partners are UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon)  and PAX  (Peace Organization from the Netherlands).

We are happy to announce that through our partners, PAX, that Kassem Istanbouli, founder of Istanbouli Theatre & Tiro Association of Arts, will be joining Global Youth Rising to teach us how theatre can be used for peacebuilding. Additionally, there will be other workshops exploring the role of music and the arts in activism and peacebuilding.

Kassem says: “We dream to live in a country where creativity plays an important role in promoting peace, self-expression, development and (human) rights and critical thinking in marginalized areas in Lebanon. We envision an alternative and critical movement through arts and culture. A place for cultural development and joy, to oppose the polarization, hatred and violence that are often so common for the areas we work in. We bring together youth of different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds, aim to build a generation of arts and create a safe space, where people respect differences and can peacefully meet, play and work together, irrespective of background, gender or religious affiliation.”

Are you interested in how theatre and the arts can be used in peacebuilding? Does your organisation already utilise music, art or theatre in a unique way that you would like to share with other young activists and peacebuilders from around the world? APPLY TODAY for Global Youth Rising! 

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