September, the 2nd, 2017 at Volkertplatz (2. Vienna, Austria) Theater for Inclusion / ART KO LÈ verein team opened a space for dialogue and citizen participation: the non-verbal and accessible work “Excluded Voices” was presented, with a subsequent multilingual forum to facilitate the participation of the audience.
Szeno-Forum: Excluded Voices
Ausgeschlossene Stimmen / Voces excluidas
The main emphasis of the activity was the social exclusion / inclusion processe. The play acts as a “trigger” for community dialogue and awareness-raising. Also, it is a door that opens opportunities for personal and community mobilization.
Moreover, Inclusion is not only “an issue” in this conext. It is our attitude, our experiences and the personal process that have lived all the people who felt “touched” (personally and professionally) by the “Excluded Voices”. Our activity is INCLUSIVE in itself. Discover How is it!!
“The shadows behind the people are there on the street in real! The wall is not on stage in the Theater, it is on the street, on grass, beside the people living in their houses.The location opened and proved the connection to reality.”
Lena’s Voice (Spectactress)
The Szeno-Forum belongs to the street, the open-air . The market or the square are the places of encounter and community coexistence. A place for all, where everyone decides whether they want to be or not as a first step for participation.
In the street there are no physical walls, nor doors that prevent going out or entering once the activity begins. We have an open stage space, and people can come in and change the scenes if they choose.
“Many heads, many thoughts, many possibilities to resolve conflicts 😉 at the end, the children save the world! I love the free thoughts of children. You can learn a lot about that”
Sonja’s Voice (Spectactress)
We created a non-verbal work, which has image, movement, color, voice and sound, and allows anyone regardless of age, language, experience and reasoning ability to access the meaning of what is communicated.
It is simple for understanding, and it is as complex as you are. Each person sees from his/her own perspective, experience and competence, the question that the scene asks.
The forum-debate is also adapted to the diversity and linguistic competence of the people that participate, using all the resources we have as a group: multilingual and adapted language, non-verbal communication and other visual supports to facilitate communication.
“Everyone can do something, When you realize that you are an excluded person, and we all exclude”
Vanessa’s Voice (Actors team)
Many people who have participated in the “Szeno-Forum: Excluded voices” feel identified with the scenes, and communicate that they have lived in the past or are now living the situations that are presented in the work.
What is that makes you identify with the situation? What does it impulse you to participate?
It does not matter if you are a girl, or an adult,.. if you are an immigrant, or your gender, … or any other social rank which you identify with: It’s my story, it’s your story, it’s the story of anyone.
The situations presented in this work come from an universal nature, which makes it easier for anyone to identify themselves and have the opportunity to participate in the forum and to generate actively alternatives.
“The whole piece depends a lot on the audience and moves along with their mood, thoughts and actions, that’s really challenging but the outcome was truly amazing and very inspiring”
Anna’s Voice (Actors Team)
Each presentation and the subsequence reflection process transformed the work. It is alive and in continuous movement. It is a real collective creation with each person who participates.
Not only in the public presentation, we see how it change (when the participants have the possibility to participate into the sceen and play their alternative of change), but afterwards in the research process too: Our team collects the experiences, alternatives and difficulties expressed by the participants (spectactors), to propose changes, both in the theater scenes and in the forum for next presentation.
“I was included in a collective process in which everyone could participate according to their means and will, from the beginning in July up to the end after the performance. The project was not the performance itself, it was a longer journey. Wonderful.”
Joschka’s Voice (Production Team)
The project “Szeno-Forum: Excluded Voices / Excluded Voices / Ausgeschlossene Stimmen” developed this summer in Vienna, is in itself a participatory process (intra- and interpersonal process). This is our way to be coherent with the values and attitudes we share within this project (Indoors and outdoors, everything is public).
We commit ourselves ethicaly and politicaly to our work and our lives. The people who work as facilitators of participatory processes, we must also experience these processes and transfer them to our whole life, that includes our work.
The project is a participatory processe:
- The production process had several phases.
- With each subprocess, each one from the team decided with responsability if they want / can participate.
- Every one decided the task she/he want to colaborate with.
- The commitmente is with ourselves, with our own decision making, to run this project (our common interest) together.
- We report to the others and we respond to our behaviour and task. The consequences are our.
It is a hard work of coodination and coexistence. It is a beautiful journey to self-determination and responsability.
Would you like to travel to your place?
And last, but not least… THANK YOU!!
First of all, to the people and their commitment: our team of 19 people (only in Viena) who worked hard, in a coordinated and participatory way, to keep the project alive during the two months of production.