Friday, 10 October 2008

Community Naratives: Space, Place, and Time.

Last weeks reading (Nicholson, H. (2005) was quite long, I felt at times it was repetitive, but this was partially useful as I was able to comprehend it better.

Why Drama in Communities?

Positives (+)
  • Bringing people together, a dynamic process of interaction
  • A Sense of unity
  • Ideological unity
  • A sense of belonging
  • Fellowship and social connection
  • Personal and historical narratives celebrated and reinvented
  • Local Identity
Negatives (-)
  • Symbolic construction can bring people together but sometimes can assign exclusion Anthony P. Cohen perceives "The community as a cultural field with a complex of symbols whose meanings vary among its members".
I agree with this view the reason being is because, We are all different to one another we hold different values and identities. Sometimes these values can be shared by multiple individuals which allows a sense of unity to occur which than creates a community. At times an exclusion can occur as some individuals have opposite views in comparison to the people in a particular community. Some of these exclusions can relate to; Ethnicity, Homosexuality and Emigration, all of which can create communities based around does particular political narratives, This might also create a sense of isolation towards a symbolic construction, for example a particular individual who is not a British Citizen can feel excluded and isolated as she/he feels alone and perceived by others as a simple refugee. I feel that this should not occur as it contradicts the meaning of community, this also makes me realise that community can not always be a good thing it can also become a destructive and disturbing factor to society, as other communities could attack the values of another community simply because it does not share the same values as their own particular community.

Therefore I am intrigued by this particular area concerning "Drama in the Community" as I am thinking to base my project around this particular issue, as it would be very interesting and challenging looking at different types of communities built around from a political point of view, attempting to change the thoughts and views of a particular community concerning another community.

Small World Theatre’s initiative is targeting these communities in Wales by working through the schools as a route to the wider community. Working with refugee mentors and engaging the children in the real stories of asylum seekers settling in Wales has so far created rich and rewarding debate with primary and secondary schoolchildren. The young people have raised a wide range of issues covering areas such as governance, playground bullying, family values, safety and war.
An introductory performance by Small World Theatre opens questions that are unpacked through drama and classroom based sessions. The participatory drama process has been informed by research collecting stories of asylum seekers and refugees who have settled in Wales. The young participants are currently producing their own plays that will be performed to parents and other adults from the local community. There will then be an opportunity for discussion between the community audience and refugees and asylum seeker representatives from the locality.

I feel that this particular Theatre is a very good example of what I would like my project to look like. The only think is now finding other colleagues that would be interested in looking at this particular point of "Drama in the Community".

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