El Madina raises awareness on issues facing minorities in the Mediterranean
September 14, 2016
Trainers from El Madina’s Street Carnival, one of the EU-funded Drama, Diversity and Development’s (DDD) sub-grantees, have travelled to Palestine to facilitate a three-day Street Carnival workshop with Palestinian artists. The group also organised two street performances in the old town of Ramallah during their trip, as part of Ramallah’s Summer Festival, which was organised by the Municipality of Ramallah, with about 600 attendees. El Madina’s Street Carnival project is a great demonstration of how closed DDD projects continue to use street theatre as a tool to raise awareness about issues facing minorities in their communities.
Four members of the Carnival’s artistic team travelled to Palestine to facilitate a three-day workshop in collaboration with a group of Palestinian artists. The group was invited by the Municipality of Ramallah, along with the Fanni Raghman Anni group from Tunisia – one of DDD’s sub-grantees selected during the project’s first round of street theatre projects, to perform in the city. Mohab Saber, the Street Carnival project’s manager, organised a one-day workshop on the topic of ‘Street Arts and Public Spaces’ for different art organisations working in Ramallah. The trip ended with a street performance in the streets of Ramallah’s old city as part of the Ramallah Summer Festival 2016.
While the DDD project provides its sub-grantees with the support and platform needed to develop their ideas during the period their projects are taking place on the ground, it also provides them with the skills and capabilities to grow and sustain these projects even after their work with DDD comes to an end. In addition they also liaise with other groups to create a regional movement empowered to talk about issues facing many communities in the MENA region.
“After five years of work in the field of street theatre, I realised that rule number one of having a successful street theatre performance is to make sure that your audience falls in love with what you perform”, said Mohab Saber, describing what Street Carnival project symbolises to him. Street Carnival is one of DDD’s closed projects, selected during its first round of street theatre projects. This phase started in February 2015 and ended in December 2015. The project performed in Egypt where they tackled the discrimination that the Nubian community is facing within Egyptian society. They also performed in Morocco. “The performance in Morocco was a result of a three-day workshop with artists from the Moroccan group Mix City, who wanted their performance to be focused on African migrants in Morocco and the challenges they face”, Saber explained.
El Madina will still use street theatre and the skills learned during their experience with DDD to tour different countries, and promote art and street theatre as a tool to raise awareness on issues facing different communities in the MENA region.
Drama, Diversity and Development is the first grant project in culture funded under the regional programme “Media and Culture for Development in the Southern Mediterranean Region Programme”. DDD then sub-grants to smaller projects, towards its aim of promoting diversity and challenging discrimination against minoritiesthrough theatre.
Media and culture for development in the Southern Mediterranean has been allocated a total budget of EUR 17 million over a four-year period, of which EUR 9 million is for the award of grants on a co-financing basis, and EUR 8 million for one capacity-development mechanism on media (MedMedia) and one capacity development mechanism on culture (MedCulture). Specifically, the programme seeks to reinforce the role of media and culture as vectors for democratisation, and economic and social development for societies in the Southern Mediterranean. In the cultural field, it supports activities fostering cultural policy reform and reinforcing the capacity of cultural policy-makers, as well as promoting investment and the development of cultural operators’ business capabilities. (EU Neighbourhood Info)