I have been a member of the Social Therapy Development community since the late 1970’s. I trained as a dancer and in that capacity was introduced to improvisation. I loved it then and love it now. It has been a joy to bring my “background” in that together with social and community development on the issues of HIV/AIDS and citizenship. I trained as a Social Therapist in the early stages of the Therapist Training Programme in the 80’s and having been using it as a methodology since then. I have worked in the field of HIV/AIDS since 1988, first in the USA and since “98 in South Africa, when I started the Living Together Project. My work has come to focus on youth development, HIV/AIDS and the development of citizenship and communities. Over the years the LTP project has become more performatory, conversational and creative and less focussed on an “outcome”. We create theatrical and musical performances, and make masks, “Body Maps” and poetry as a collective performatory activity. In the work of the LTP we challenge the understanding that being HIV+ is an “identity” and we work to transform stigma and under-development at group and community levels through creating together.
I grew up in Phalaborwa, a rapidly developing mining town in the North of South Africa where tar roads melt in the heat. I was a rebellious kid looking for love and feeling ashamed of my class status. During the 80s as clinical psychologist, worked with ‘psychotic’ youth in a psychiatric rehab ward, wondered on to industry to extend my training as industrial psychologist. I then shifted to practicing and teaching community psychology at a Black Medical University. During my doctoral study, I realized that my passion for participatory community work stemmed from wanting to change my struggle politic, which I share with fellow South Africans. I found that we could shift our power based participation through a networking approach, wherein we as community participants appreciated free flowing exchanges. We still missed out on collective emotional development. So when during 2004–5 I ‘discovered’ social therapeutics through Lois Holzman’s online courses, I could introduce a new method into my work — performing participatory action research, finding it socially therapeutic and having fun with it!
I was born in Soweto South Africa to Tswana and Sotho parents. As a child I listened to my father and his friends play music as a way to deal with the impact of apartheid on their lives, that swerved as an introduction to the healing power of music for me. I started doing art and music at the local youth clubs and started playing drums as a teenager. I trained as an art teacher in the late ’90’s and currently am a printmaker, teacher and music healer. I work in various communities using art and musical performance as a tool for healing. I work with the Art Therapy Center working with children affected by HIV/AIDS, with Dedelin’goma and their work with trauma workers and home based care workers dealing with HIV/AIDS and have worked with the Living Together Project since 2002, where I led a musical performance of 350 people on World AIDS Day at Robben Island. In 1998 I traveled to Angola, Namibia, Belgium and Cuba as a member of the “intimas marcas” exhibition and musical exchange, playing with and learning from some of the great musicians from those countries and in 2004 I was a fellow at Brandeis University in their Recasting Reconciliation in Art and Culture programme.
During our presentation Performing South Africa we hope to share and co-create a sense of how performance is being used in some of our youth and community projects in Johannesburg and Pretoria. We will use indigenous musical instruments, collective poetry, language games incorporating South African languages and conversations, and video clips of some of our work.
I am Syed Mizanur Rahman, though people around me like to call me Raju Ahmed. I was born on the 3rd of February 1970 at a remote village of Tangail, a district of Bangladesh. As a person comes from poverty and crucial socio-culture setup, can realize most of the development issues from my empathetic heart. Issues like Poverty, Gender, Health, Governance, Tolerance etc. has been perceived by my life started from childhood. Even then I goes to institutional learning to pronounce number of good things and to drop CV for better work to reduce self-poverty and community as well, because my mother always helps me to feel psychological poverty as major cause of financial poverty. So, I started struggle to reduce psychological and financial poverty together.
While studying Economics at Jahangirnagar University, I developed a deep interest in theatre. I found it curious that despite its immense importance, Economics has remained simply a discipline to be studied and people have little or no exposure to it. On the other hand, getting involved with theatre and theatricality made me aware of a crucial gap between what is taught and what is applied, between intention and motivation in both motivational and institutional learning. When I discovered that theatre enjoys an upper edge in both entertaining and motivating, I started actively participating in theatre, both as an actor, director and event organizer with an intention to discover and associate motivational potential to educate people in issues related to economics and development. Along with staging some classics, I also produced performances on Poverty, Drugs, Tobacco, HIV/AIDS, Social Harmony etc. at the university campus and participated National Radio and Television programs as an enlisted artist. Then I did my second Masters in Drama (Direction) from Rabindra Bharati University, India and Diploma in film direction from National Institute of Film and Fine Arts (NIFFA), India.
On my return, I joined an ad firm as Executive Creative, and later Directorate of Non-formal Education as Audio-Visual Officer. While working there, I developed a strong sense of the importance and potential of electronic media as an effective means for social mobilization and marketing. And also, being a theatre person, I understood that electronic media, if planned wisely, can usefully be used for interaction and advocacy. These and many other jobs with NGOs have helped me develop my experience and perceptions about theatre and its potential as motivating factor, a case not cultivated properly as yet.
In 1999, I along with some dynamic young people established TREE, Theatre for Research Education and Empowerment. Our aim is to fully exploit the potential of theatre to disseminate information, ensure effective penetration, and leave the audience/participants confident enough to be active and empowered to meet their own problems.
I wish to share my views and strategies with all concerned to be enriched.
Syed Mizanur Rahman
(alias Raju Ahmed)
TREE Foundation Ltd.
House # 11–13, Road # 5
Block # C, Banashree
Cell: +88–0175004484( Can call from All type of phone)
NPR CALL TO ACTION—AIR YOUR BELIEFS
What if someone had told me? What if we’d all been looking for signs of mental illness—an obvious part of our family history, yet nobody ever talked about it? Could an honest conversation, telling the truth about our gene pool, have changed the course of my life? I am sure the answer is yes, but that is not what happened to me. Here’s what happened…
“I was 24 years old, and after at least 4 manic episodes, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder or manic-depression. I had lost everything; my fiancé, my four-year old hairdressing business, my apartment, and most importantly, my sanity. I had to move back in and live with my parents, who at this point, finally revealed to me that that my paternal grandmother had committed suicide by shooting herself. My father said it was because she had high blood pressure. Hmmmmmm… My mother told me that my grandmother had been so depressed she would not leave her home. What if they would have been honest with themselves and with me and heeded signs of my dis-ease before my life turned into chaos?”
Look—we have to be able to tell the truth to ourselves and each other. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I am the voice of the need to deal directly with mental health issues—by telling the truth and supporting one another. What if we listened to and embraced all of the flaws AND all of the potentials of our community members? What would it feel like to live in a community, in a world, where everyone wants to live and everybody wants all of you in it?
It is has been part of my life experience, more than once, to lose everything that was important to me; my home, my most important relationships, my work, my life savings, my sanity, everything…
Yet, I have gained much… I know what it feels like to be one with God—with all of life. I have been over the edge of my own sanity and emerged into the ecstasy of that most sacred connection. I have heard, seen, felt, and touched places that most people only dream of going, some of them bright and light and metaphysical and some of them dark and scary and never, never, never ending.
I have been so far to and over the edges that my middle is deep, but it is not deep enough to hold me center. I need support to hold me center—support of loved ones, medications, connection to Spirit and nature, and to give something back. I have made it my life’s work to serve others challenged by mental health issues, and in turn, serve and heal myself. This is what sustains me.
What sustains you? \
Listening Well provides mental health education and awareness programs for individuals, service providers, family members, organizations, and communities. We uncover, gather, and distribute personal stories of resiliency to bust stigma, enhance prevention, and offer hope and healing to those who are impacted by mental health and substance abuse issues
At the conference I will be performing a 2 hour excerpt from my one-woman show of “Nurse!” The play revolves around a nursing strike and is based on oral histories I did with nurses, particularly those involved in a strike on Long Island in 2002. I’m an actress and playwright now at the dissertation stage of a PhD in American Studies at the University at Buffalo (dissertation topic “Theatricalizing Oral History in the U.S., Great Britain and Canada”). I have toured extensively (England, Scotland, Prague, U.S.) in my one-woman show of “Jane Eyre” (80 minutes, 25 characters) and in “Nurse!” (off-Broadway, International Oral History Conference in Rome). Am also collaborating with journalist Suzanne Gordon on a play called “Bedside Manners,” which we hope to make the center of a curriculum that helps transform communication between doctors and nurses. Out of my interest in museum theatre and community-based arts projects, I developed and taught courses on both at the U. at Buffalo. While I continue to write and perform (and complete my PhD!), I am looking for a faculty position where I can involve students in creating work that actively engages them with the world through their own community.
Lisa Hayes as Jane Eyre
80 Minutes … 25 Characters … 1 Actress
As one of the presenters this year at Performing the World Three it’s exciting to be able to share some images of what I do here at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Australia. The images you are looking at are from an installation called “The Butterfly Effect” an installation of over 8000 cardboard butterflies decorated by patients, staff and the connected community. Enjoy.
Rose Lynn Artist
BA (hons): Theatre Arts, University of Leeds (Bretton Hall)
MA: Drama, Education and Culture, University of Warwick.
Currently in post as programme director of Art-Full, the Scottish arts, mental health and well-being programme, funded by the Scottish Executive (government) via the National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Well-being to develop and promote arts work in relation to mental health and well-being in Scotland.
Also currently studying for a PhD; exploring the relationship between participation in play-based group theatre making and human development. Research is based on broad constructionist and social development theories and is built on the secure foundations of play and playing within a broadly theatrical context. Playing is being used and proposed as a research methodology (tool and result) with the fool employed to ensure that things don’t get too serious.
With experience of lecturing, running a theatre company, performing and having originally being trained as a clown, the articulation of playful theatre practice as being a means of delivering in action constructionist and post-modern development theories, and how these might translate into government policy has been a career long area of interest.
Taking a passion for social justice, human development and play into some supposedly hostile environments, including prisons, schools and high security hospitals, 15 years experience in this field has convinced me not only of the transformative power of people playing and performing together, but of the current momentum that across the globe is beginning to regard these claims and others like them in a more favourable light.
Janus is an international public sculptor who incorporates performance art into her process and has identified VIPA as a movement, Visual Interactive Performance Art. She also teaches, lectures and initiates art curriculums across Southern Ontario, Canada. Several renowned art institutions and museums whom Janus is affiliated include the Burlington Art Centre, Dundas Valley School of Art and The Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts. In her art work, Janus uses associations of poetic images and concepts that include environmental, sociological, equality and communal issues.
Greetings to all. I am looking forward to creating with you. In the workshop that I am proposing we will make visual the different interpretations of body language. It is much simpler than it sounds and loads of fun. Yes, we will do a bit of drawing and the beauty is…I have no grand expectations of your drafting skills because no mistakes can be made! If you have any questions feel free to write.
Following performances and workshops this year in London, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Honolulu, Wasim Galata, Shion Galata, and Andy Black, will present a performance and workshop at the PTW3, focusing on the use of arts in different cultures, races and ethnic groups throughout history, and how theatre, dance, poetry, music, song, storytelling has, is, and always will be useful in healing humanity from grief and mourning.
As theatre, television, radio, and audio book producers, writers, directors, storytellers, actors, and dancers, Wasim and Andy are Directors with the Circle of Life Hospice Foundation in Reno, Nevada. Wasim is a retired representative to the Socio-Economic Council of the United Nations, an international dancer and storyteller, and producer/host of the long running television and radio programs LISTENING IN, IMAGINATION MAKERS, and HOSPICE COMPANIONS. Andy is a novelist and audio book writer of stories, as well as the founder and owner of wine shops, restaurants, and a fundraiser for artistic-humanitarian agencies. Shion is a 9 year old actor who has appeared in many of his father’s productions, most recently spending the summer with his dad being creative in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Andy and Wasim’s most recent project and production isTHE GOODBYE LADY, an audio CD of short stories about 9 diverse characters finding meaning and beauty in their lives while on their death beds. This unique and inspirational project will be released in NYC during the PW3 conference. In December, the 60 member cast of singers, dancers, storytellers, including Broadway star Annie Morrision, of the new production SOUNDS WITHOUT STETHOSCOPES will open at the Prim Theatre.
The performance to be presented at PTW3 within the I WILL HIRE YOU AS A MINSTREL workshop, is I DANCE FOR MY DYING SON, written by Andy Black and Wasim Galata, and performed by Wasim and Shion. Combining ethnic dance, storytelling, and narrative theatre, this performance will be connected to the workshop, facilitated by Andy and Wasim, on the diverse aspects and nuances of the performing arts in relation to healing from loss and healing from grief and mourning, as well as the logistical aspects of grant writing, fundraising, Public Relations, and marketing for individuals, groups, and organizations using the performing arts in socio-health/economic, educational settings.
To see photos of recent international productions including the acclaimed musical dramas MY GRANDMOTHER’S DANCE, ARTISTS AND ANCESTORS, and I WILL HIRE YOU AS A MINSTREL, go to www.colhospice.com and click on Arts-in-Education Productions