Peace building through theatre

Mandala has been organizing various programs that support conflict transformation, transitional justice and dealing with the past in Nepal in a creative and non-violent way.

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Mandala has been organizing various programs that support conflict transformation, transitional justice and dealing with the past in Nepal in a creative and non-violent way.

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Mandala Theatre-Nepal is a group of theatre-workers committed to develop and practice a creative style which is strongly based on Nepali theatre and culture, as well as deeply rooted in our desire to be a strong and aesthetic voice for social justice, political awareness and human rights.

Since, Mandala Theater-Nepal started as a group willing to work on social issues through the aesthetics of theatre art, peace-building has been it’s one of the motto. Mandala has been exploring different methods, tools and approaches to work on peace-building and social transformation since its partnership began with Civil Peace Service (GIZ-ZFD) in 2014.

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Mandala has been organizing various programs that support conflict transformation, transitional justice and dealing with the past in Nepal in a creative and non-violent way. Mandala has been working with the sociopolitical issues of marginalized communities. The primary objectives to do so are not only to support the minority communities but also to make artists aware of social issues.

As a team of artists and peace workers, we are regularly reflecting on different social-political issues to deal with these constructively and through dialogue. We believe in art’s potentials in transforming reality.

Following are the activities that are done through peace building.

YEAR
PROGRAM
ACTIVITIES
OBJECTIVES
2014TOT on Forum TheatreConducted a workshop for Forum Theatre practitioners from different parts of Nepal·Strengthen the network and skills of regional forum theatre activists/artists
2014-2020Peace Building TeamFormed a team inside Mandala to work with peace-building projects·Support Mandala to work on projects and productions focused on promoting conflict transformation, dialogue and/or social justice through theatre and arts
2015Memory 30 AugustOrganized different artistic activities focusing on issues of enforced disappearance such as Playback Theatre, Memory Installation, Poetry Performance, Tree of Solidarity, Photo Exhibition, Candle Light Vigil·Keep the issue of disappearances and victims’ rights in public view and on the political agenda of policy makers and to remind them of their responsibilities.
·Promote a culture of remembrance and dealing with a shared past in public.
·Stimulate dialogue amongst the public about the challenges faced by the families of the disappeared.
·Extend solidarity and empathy towards families of the disappeared on behalf of theatre artist community.
·Encourage members of the general public to extent solidarity and empathy towards the families of the disappeared
2015Theatre for PeaceIntroduction of Madalena Workshop in Nepal
Participation in Int'l Madalena Festival in Argentina
Creative Camp for Peace Building in Pokhara
·Maintain and strengthen Nepal’s Forum Theater-Network through collaborative learning
·Strengthen coordination and collaboration within the Forum Theater-Network to enhance efforts on promoting dialogue and conflict transformation through theatre and artistic expression
·Decentralization of the arts through implementation of the Creative Camp on Peace Building including a community performance in Pokhara to promote spaces for learning and performing outside of the capital
·Supporting female and younger artists to access opportunities for international and national professional development and exchange
2015-2016Recovery Mobile Theatre TourA mobile theatre bus was constructed and a theatre tour was organized in quake-affected communities inside Kathmandu·Earthquake-affected communities around Kathmandu Valley will be able to watch at least one performance especially focused on providing opportunities for stress-release and togetherness.
·With opportunities for stress-release and togetherness, Mandala Theatre-Nepal-Nepal will support relevant communities in preventing violence and encouraging dialogue.
2016Strategic Planning MeetingBrainstormed, discussed and drafted new strategies to work efficiently on peace-building through theatre·Create understanding and consensus for Mandala’s upcoming annual activities
·Clarifying partnership between CPS and Mandala-Theatre Nepal for all relevant members of Mandala Theatre-Nepal
·Identify strengths and weaknesses within Mandala-Theatre Nepal together with ideas of how to respond to them
·Create a space and practice where grievances, challenges, conflicts etc. can be voiced and constructively engaged with or even responded to
2016Memory 30 August 2016Organized different artistic activities focusing on issues of enforced disappearance such as
Wall Painting
Sarangi Performance
Poetry Performance by Nawaraj Parajuli
Installation Art
Photo Exhibition
Tree of Solidarity
Staging of the play Aadha Satya
·Keep the issue of disappearances and victims’ rights in public view and on the political agenda of policy makers and to remind them of their responsibilities
·Promote a culture of remembrance and dealing with a shared past in public
·Stimulate dialogue amongst the public about the challenges faced by the families of the disappeared
·Extend solidarity and empathy towards families of the disappeared amongst those in the theatre artist community
·Encourage members of the general public to extent solidarity and empathy towards the families of the disappeared
2016Dealing with the PastBasic Workshop on Playback Theatre
Introduction Madalena Workshop
Advanced Madalena Workshop
Memory Mobile Theatre Tour
·Strengthening artists’ skills on theatre and creative expression dedicated towards stimulating dialogue on intra- and inter-personal conflicts.
·Enabling communities outside of Kathmandu to access programs and networks around Enforced Disappearance and Dealing with the Past
·Creating spaces to increase empathy for and within communities affected by the conflict, recognizing different experiences and also building a common sense of shared community history
·Increasing opportunities, especially of those at the margins (e.g. women, lower caste and janajati groups, victims’ communities outside of Kathmandu), to make themselves heard in remembering the past.
2017Creating Plays, Creating DialogueOrganized a 3 weeks long Play Making Workshop for Young Nepali Theatre Directors; 14 directors participated·Creating spaces to increase empathy, compassion and awareness about socio-political issues amongst the theatre artists and communities.
·The workshop contributes to Nepali theatre becoming more relevant to society and its past and current issues.
2018Creating Plays, Creating Dialogue & Memory 30 August 20182nd Play Making Workshop for Young Nepali Theatre Directors was organized inPokhara and Kathmandu. One production based on interviews with families of disappeared prepared and staged in Pokhara and Kathmandu.
15 renowned painting artists created live painting based on experiences of family members.
Discussions were made.
·Strengthening and realizing the idea of social justice, empathy, compassion and do no harm around theatre community in Nepal
·Creating a dialogue about socio-political issues between theatre artists and communities through the play production
·Addressing and provoking the issues of enforced disappearance in Nepal through the most nonviolent way i.e. art
2018Dealing with the PastDrama Book and Video Documentary Release·Keeping an archival record of our conflict-history also to provide access on information and facts of conflict period to the newer generation by also explaining the role of art to address socio-political issues
2018Creating Plays, Creating DialogueArt Management Workshop for Theatre Managers·To support Nepali theatre becoming more relevant and reliable to society by applying systematic and transparent management system
2018Dealing with the PastMemory Theatre Tour 2018·Enabling communities outside of Kathmandu to access programs and networks around Enforced Disappearance and Dealing with the Past.
·Creating spaces to increase confidence and solidarity for especially children and communities affected by the conflict, recognizing different experiences and also building a common sense of shared community history
2019Theatre for Social Transformation: An Artistic Voyage
Nepal International Theatre Festival 2019
A week long international theatre festival was organized in collaboration with different theatre groups from Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Pokhara and Janakpur·To strengthen the communal harmony, promote social inclusion for all kinds of marginalized caste, gender, religion, people with disabilities etc., respectfulness for social diversity, peace building, conflict transformation and to contribute in preservation on intangible cultural heritage through social awareness, art and exchange.
To support Nepali theatre groups coming together in a shared platform to explore their aesthetic expressions and solidarities for relevant socio-political issues.
To build national and international networks, synergy of organizations and cultural exchange related to different forms of theatre
To motivate local groups to preserve their indigenous culture through artistic theatre work
To contribute in the process of peace building and non-violent conflict transformation through the staging of relevant plays, productions and open air performances.
2019Memory 30 August 2019Classical Music Concert by Sukarma was organized
Photo and Painting Exhibition
Video Documentary Screening
·Extend solidarity and empathy towards families of the disappeared amongst those in the theatre artist community
·Keeping an archival of past peace-building works
2019Theatre for Social Transformation, Dealing with the Past and Gender & Diversity SensibilityStaging of play Mahabhoj
Workshop on Gender and Diversity Sensitive Work in Theatre
NITFest 2019 Documentation
·To sustain peace-building activities by using past as learning tools, exploring the work scope and dealing with issues in non-violent and transformative way.
2015-till nowDifferent theatre workshops to groups from outside and inside Kathmandu·Support Nepali theatre artists and groups in their skill development
2015- tillSupport, mentorship and facilitation in dialogue process of different theatres and groups inside and outside Kathmandu·Support Nepali theatre artists and groups in their peace-building process