As one can see if scrolling down to a post from March 2011, I visited Rwanda with Clowns without Borders and masters students, six years ago.
This time, I’m here representing Assitej, an international children’s theatre organisation. (I’m on the Swedish board.) We’re here to do research and make plans for a future project, about Gender Based Violence (GBV). We enjoy lectures from representatives of The Ministry of Family and Gender, The Police and a men’s organisation. I contribute with a workshop on gender and social norms. The participants come from our partner organisation, Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company, and friends. And a journalist from the government run daily newspaper, The New Times. (There is no free press in Rwanda, which is a shame!)
We sit and plan with Hope and Sam from Mashirika, and draw up plans for an educational theatre project for 2018. My college, Niclas Malmcrona, will start working on the application when we return home. We hope for funding from the Swedish Institute, who funded our planning visit here.
After one day of excursions, and visiting the Genocide Museum, I’m alone in Kigali for three days. Fortunately, I have reconnected with my acrobat friends from my last visit, and hang out with them. Such a joyous bunch, and great acrobats, jugglers, etc! We decide on making a theatre workshop for them, and Mashirika lends us their roof-top rehearsal space. We work on relaxation, on being here and now, on doing “as if”, rather than showing. They guys are so eager to learn, to develope, and they are great students.
I return to a colder Sweden, with renewed friendships and a hope to come back, again!