Beginning in September 2017 with a focus on working with newcomer children, youth, and families, the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Project (GBVP) raises awareness about gender-based violence and how to access available resources within the community.
We want to engage young people in the process to know more about what they think and experience, so we can develop our resources accordingly. We invited youth to participate in a Forum Theatre Workshop to get them thinking and talking about a variety of social issues. Described by Karen Bassett from the Irondale Ensemble Project, forum theatre is a theatre system that presents a problem in an unsolved form and gets the audience to work with each other to solve that problem.
One of the participants in the workshop, Dania Al-Helwani, talked about the changes she’s seen in the participants from the workshop:
“In our culture, the boy is always right, and always strong. They’re always the leader and we have to listen to their rules and not argue with them. But now I feel that everyone has the right to do whatever they want, it doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, do you know what I mean? In this workshop, they begin to change their thinking. Like, sometimes they think something is wrong, but then they realize oh, we’re wrong’ and ‘we have to change.’”
Another participant, Mohammed Konbazo, also spoke to new realizations he experienced through the workshop:
“A lot of things changed my mind this weekend. I learned that we should deal with human rights, that a woman should be able to do whatever she wants. Why can I do whatever I want, and she can’t? Why? We’re both human.”
To view more resources or learn more about the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Project, visit https://www.ymcahfx.ca/gender-based-violence-prevention-project-gbvp/. You can watch the full video of the Forum Theatre workshop here:
“We can do the same thing, in our real life. It doesn’t have to be an act. It doesn’t finish here”
–Mohamed Hasher, workshop participant