On 15 April, via the African Women Playwrights' Network project, Yvette Hutchison launched Woza Africa: Theatre in the African Context, a free digital education resource which she designed with Kenyan playwright JC Niala and Public Engagement Consultant Flo Swann, to introduce teachers, theatre groups and students around the world to a wide range of African approaches to storytelling, alongside historic and cultural frames of reference.
It has had good take-up, with some 82 schools, theatre groups, public sector organisations and Universities from 19 countries uploading it so far. Theatres like the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and Birmingham Mac have signalled their intent to use it with their youth drama groups.
So please use or pass on the link to anyone who you think may want to explore aspects of theatre specific to the African contexts, especially with the challenges of remote teaching and home schooling right now https://warwick.ac.uk/awpn
Funding Success with Coventry City of Culture - “I don’t want your hope, I want your action”
Together with Dr Rachel Turner King (Principal Investigator, Education) and Professor David Mond (Maths and Global Sustainable Development), Dr Bobby Smith (Theatre and Performance Studies) has been awarded Coventry City of Culture funding for the project “I don’t want your hope, I want your action”: exploring youth eco-citizenship through verbatim theatre and digital ethnography in the city.
This participatory project, which will involve work with local young people, seeks to investigate how young people understand the relationships between the environment and their lives, and what they currently know about the climate crisis. Young people will become both theatre makers and ethnographic researchers, undertaking a range of interviews and engaging in discussions between themselves and with other members of their local community to investigate the climate crisis.
Drawing on the interdisciplinary background of the team, an applied theatre approach will enable open discussion around these issues and provide an opportunity for young people to explore the climate crisis creatively, and to perform their findings and views to audiences.
This project is a component of a larger international, multi-sited ethnographic study led by Professor Kathleen Gallagher (University of Toronto) entitled Global Youth (Digital) Citizen-Artists and their Publics: Performing for Socio-Ecological Justice. The shorthand for this project is Audacious Citizenship, and it will run 2019-2024. The project involves work taking place in Canada, Columbia, Greece, India and Taiwan, as well as in Coventry. Participants will therefore be given opportunities to connect globally on this important issue.
The City of Culture funding acts as seed funding, helping to launch the Coventry-based aspect of the project, with a view to apply for further funding in 2020/2021.
More news to come soon!