Penjara @ KLPAC

 

How to create spaces of liberty inside the walls of a prison? Prisoners have the freedom to analyse their past for sure; and to invent their distant future, why not? … But … what about the present? Here resides the greatest problem: their present is their confrontation with their powerful enemy, the guards, who also consider themselves to be oppressed.” (p. 5, Games for Actors & Non-Actors, Augusto Boal, 2002)

Monday 7th March saw our team descending upon KLPac (Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre) in Sentul to kickstart our Commonwealth Foundation partnered tour.

The scene, titled ‘Balik Penjara’ (Prison Return) details the daily routine of prison life in a Malaysian institution, something all of our cast members have intimate experience of. This largely physical piece was develoed using the tools of the theatre of the oppressed, in particular an exercise called the Hours of the Day. As well as producing a final performance piece, the process generated a significant amount of discussion within the community about prison systems and rehabilitation, in particular the effectiveness of incarceration as punishment.

The tour and development process will continue for the next six months, with more tour partners and dates being lined up. Watch this space for more infomation!

The Kids Are Alright

Monday saw new records broken for FLC’s Batu Arang community programme as we had nearly 30 kids from the local refugee centres attend to play games and hang out together as part of our social centre’s cohesion programme. The kids, ranging from 2 to 15 years old, live in seperate shelters scattered across the village and rarely had the chance to meet and interact before we began our pathway of bringing them together. The idea has been wholeheartedly supported by the French volunteer community based here.

Also, over the weekend the community theatre was zealously preparing their new scene for a showcase at KLPac on Monday night. Here are some sneak previews pictures of what’s been happening, with more to follow!

February 2011 Newsletter

GONG XI FAI CAI!

WELCOME TO THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT

 

 

In celebration of the Year of the Rabbit, and in typical ‘rubber time’ mode, we are a little late with the newsletter, but here’s what’s been happening!

PUPPETS!

 

 

As promised last month, February saw the arrival of Hong Kong based artists Grad Leung to facilitate an intensive week of puppet-making at the Ti-Ratana Children’s Home. 30 kids were whizzed through a week-long crash course in mask and puppetry making, culminating in a show for the rest of the home and a performance at Lifest at MAP in Solaris Dutamas. The performance consisted of some frenzied tribal drumming on upturned buckets at the giant puppets swayed and us likely lads danced in their colourful masks. It was most splendid!

Many thanks to Fallen Leaves Soon, Le-boi, Jade Ong and new volunteers Rachel Lee, Jean Hooi and Su Fong for all their help and assistance. Also, many many thanks to Lai Chee and the good people at Nyoba Kan for putting us in contact with the delightful Grad. We hope to see him again soon!

Thanks to Grad Leung!

 

UNHCR Vocational English Module

 

February also saw the completion of a 48-hour course in Vocational English, in collaboration between Fallen Leaves UK, the Harvest Training Centre and the UNHCR. 25 young adults from the stateless and refugee community, comprised of a diverse ethnic representation of Myanmar, Sri Lanka and beyond, took part in an innovative and groundbreaking pathway of English and vocational skills development. Featuring beatboxing, poetry, forum theatre and more traditional English teaching skills, this course was a huge success and very popular with the participants. It culminated in the Harvest Centre’s first ever beatboxing and rapping championship and a session of forum theatre exploring problems of communication in the workplace.

Check some more photos here. Watch this space for more detailed reportage and videos from the sessions!

 

 

WORD SOUND HAVE POWER RETURNS!

And from the overseas, we are thrilled by the turnout and the raucous, folk-punk vibe of our Word Sound Have Power benefit night in Elephant & Castle at the end of January. Many thanks to everyone who turned up and to all the performers. WSHP3 will be back in May, featuring the prodigal return of Furious George MC, currently in Malaysia exploring the possibilities of poetry and performance with the socially excluded communities there.

Leon Walker - Jail Guitar Doors graduate - performs

 

And in the coming months …

The Fallen Leaves Social Centre in Batu Arang is pleased to announce it has been rejoined by FL members Lokman and Ezekiel, and will be commencing its tour of Malaysia performing forums and workshops with different communities in March. We have a booking in Kluang coming up and a workshop with juvenile offenders in a centre near KL. We shall report as it develops!

As ever, if you want to get involved, email to info@fallenleaves.org.uk (UK)

or

fallenleavestc@gmail.com (Malaysia)

All enquiries, responses, dialogues and criticism happily accepted.

The Principles!

Taken from http://ospiti.peacelink.it/giolli/giolli_gb/node4.html on 5th February, 2011.

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
In January 2003 ITO, International organization of TO, has been founded by Boal, his son Julian, Luc Opdebeeckfrom Belgium and Ronald Matthijssen from Holland. We have here the TO principles they worked out. We’d like to share with you and to get suggestions, observations, criticisms. It seems to us an important step in TO development that needs the everybody’s participation, from all people who recognize themselves in these principles. Whether you want to know more please visit the Web site of ITO (www.theatreoftheoppressed.org) and of Formaat ( http://www.formaat.org – in English and Dutch).

 

 

International Theatre of the Oppressed Organization (ITO)
Declaration of principles

Preamble

1. The basic aim of the Theatre of the Oppressed is to humanize Humanity.

2. The Theatre of the Oppressed is a system of Exercises, Games and Techniques based on the Essential Theatre, to help men and women to develop what they already have inside themselves: theatre.

Essential Theatre

3. Every human being is theatre!

4. Theatre is defined as the simultaneous existence – in the same space and context – of actors and spectators.
Every human being is capable of seeing the situation and seeing him/herself in the situation.

5. Essential theatre consists of three elements: Subjective Theatre, Objective Theatre and the Theatrical Language.

6. Every human being is capable of acting: to survive, we necessarily have to produce actions and observe those actions and their effects on the environment. To be Human is to be Theatre: the co-existence of actor and spectator in the same individual. This is the Subjective Theatre.

7. When human beings limit themselves to observing an object, a person or a space, renouncing momentarily
to their capacity and necessity of acting, the energy and their desire to act is transferred to that space,
person or object, creating a space inside a space: an Aesthetic Space. This is the Objective Theatre.

8. All human beings use, in their daily lives, the same language that actors use on the stage: their voices,
their bodies, their movements and their expressions; they translate their emotions and desires into the Theatrical Language.

Theatre of the Oppressed

9. The Theatre of the Oppressed offers everyone the aesthetic means to analyze their past, in the context of their present, and subsequently to invent their future, without waiting for it. The Theatre of the Oppressed helps human beings to recover a language they already possess – we learn how to live in society by playing theatre. We learn how to feel by feeling; how to think by thinking; how to act by acting. Theatre of the Oppressed is rehearsal for reality.

10. The oppressed are those individuals or groups who are socially, culturally, politically, economically, racially, sexually, or in any other way deprived of their right to Dialogue or in any way impaired to exercise this right.

11. Dialogue is defined as to freely exchange with others, as a person and as a group, to participate in human
society as equal, to respect differences and to be respected.

12. The Theatre of the Oppressed is based upon the principle that all human relationships should be of a
dialogic nature: among men and women, races, families, groups and nations, dialogue should prevail. In reality,
all dialogues have the tendency to become monologues, which creates the relationship oppressors – oppressed.

Acknowledging this reality, the main principle of Theatre of the Oppressed is to help restore dialogue among human beings.

Principles and Objectives

13. The Theatre of the Oppressed is a worldwide non-violent aesthetic movement which seeks peace, not passivity.

14. The Theatre of the Oppressed tries to activate people in a humanistic endeavor expressed by its very name:
theatre of, by, and for the oppressed. A system that enables people to act in the fiction of theatre to become
protagonists, i.e. acting subjects, of their own lives.

15. The Theatre of the Oppressed is neither an ideology nor a political party, neither dogmatic nor coercive and
is respectful of all cultures. It is a method of analysis and a means to develop happier societies. Because of
its humanistic and democratic nature, it is widely used all over the world, in all fields of social activities
such as: education, culture, arts, politics, social work, psychotherapy, literacy programs and health. In the
annex to this Declaration of Principles, a number of exemplary projects are listed to illustrate the nature and the scope of its use.

16. Theatre of the Oppressed is now being used in approx. half the nations around the world, listed in the annex, as a tool for the making of discoveries about oneself and about the Other, of clarifying and expressing our desires; a tool for the changing of circumstances which produce unhappiness and pain and for the enhancement of what brings peace; for respecting differences between individuals and groups and for the inclusion of all human beings in Dialogue; and finally a tool for the achievement of economical and social justice, which is the foundation of true democracy.

Summarizing, the general objective of the Theatre of the Oppressed is the development of essential Human Rights.

The International Theatre of the Oppressed Organization (ITO)

17. The ITO is an organization that coordinates and enhances the development of Theatre of the Oppressed
all over the world, according to the principles and objectives of this Declaration.

18. The ITO does so by connecting Theatre of the Oppressed practitioners into a global network, fostering
exchange and methodical development; by facilitating training and multiplication of the existing techniques;
by conceiving projects on a global scale; by the stimulation of the creation of local Centers for Theatre of
the Oppressed (CTO’s); by promoting and creating conditions for the work of CTO’s and practitioners and by
creating an international meeting point on the internet.

19. The ITO is of the same humanistic and democratic nature as its principles and objectives; it will
incorporate any contributions from those who are working under this Declaration of Principles.

20. The ITO will assume that anyone using the various techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed subscribes
to this Declaration of Principles.

FL January Newsletter

Our first newsletter. Check it!

Dear Friends,
 
Come In, The House Is Yours!
  
 
Fallen Leaves Community Theatre is thrilled to announce that their programme of creative development workshops has commenced at the Harvest Centre in Sentul! Harvest Centre is a community school which works with the underprivileged community of Kuala Lumpur, breaking the cycle of poverty through education. www.harvestcentre.webs.com
 
We had our first photography workshop on Thursday, producing exciting and engaged responses from facilitators and participants alike.
 
We have a large number of children from the urban poor and refugee community to work with, so as part of our policy of social cohesion and inclusion, would like to invite you to join our facilitator programme and spend some time working with these children, with the hope of expanding their understanding and appreciation of the scope of opportunity available to them.
 
You can do one, several, or hundreds of workshops, with as few or as many children as you like, and all we ask is that you keep the theme inclusive, with the focus very much on helping the children to discover themselves and their world.
 
We are interested in ART, DRAMA, POETRY, DANCE, DISCUSSION, PHOTOGRAPHY, PUPPETRY, FILM & ANYTHING YOU CAN SUGGEST!

If you are interested, or know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to email george@fallenleaves.org.uk for more information, even if you just want to drop in to have a look. Workshops are on Thursday and Friday every week, from 10 till 4pm.
 
Bread & Puppets!
 
 
Fallen Leaves’ facilitators have also been drafted in by Harvest in conjunction with the UNHCR to run vocational training with dynamic youths from the urban poor community, with the hopes of giving them the skills and necessary language abilities to operate successfully in a working environment. This innovative programme combines elements of the communicative method of English teaching with theatre of the oppressed and forum theatre, a truly original and exciting approach.
 
As part of this intensive programme, we are delighted to report our first international guest of 2011 – Mr Grad from Hong Kong – who will be arriving in February to facilitate a course in puppet-making on the theme of past, present and future, using this artistic exploration to discover deeper understanding and motivate these kids that the sky really is the limit. The puppetmaking course and Grad’s residency have been organised in conjunction with Malaysia’s only butoh dance group, the wonderful Nyoba Kan www.nyobakan.blogspot.com
 
To make this happen, we need huge quantities of newspaper, bamboo canes, cloth, glue and scissors. If anyone has any old newspapers hanging around, then please email through and get them to us before February 10th.
 
 
And from the overseas …
 
Following our smashing launch night in August, we’re thrilled to announce that on Friday 28th January (pay day!), our Word Sound Have Power event will return to London!

Expect a night jam-packed with acoustic jams, stand-up comedy, an art exhibition and a smattering of spoken word – all accompanied by some great drinks promotions to ease the pain of those post-Christmas bank balance blues.

Acts will include:

Jonny Neesom (www.myspace.com/breakingguitarstrings)
Captain Backfire (www.backfiremusic.com)
Leon Walker (www.myspace.com/leonwalkermusic)
Wade McElwain (comedian)
Fake Dom (www.myspace.com/fakedom)
Sean Sheehan
Kym Being
-Plus-
DJ Lewis Maddox (www.lewismaddox.co.uk)

and more!

As ever, all proceeds will support the work of Fallen Leaves Community Theatre. The money raised at our launch night has already made a huge impact out in Malaysia, as our team work to give voice to the excluded, building communities and promoting human rights. To read about our recent work, made possible in no small part by funds raised at the last Word Sound Have Power event, please visit our news blog at http://www.fallenleaves.org.uk/news

Don’t forget to sign up to the mailing list at www.fallenleaves.org.uk or ‘like’ us on Facebook for cheap entry on the night!

 

AND FINALLY!
 
 
Fallen Leaves Community Theatre will be engaged in a national forum theatre tour in association with the Commonwealth Foundation, bringing a mixed group of socially diverse people to different audiences to dialogue and engage on issues of social inclusion in 2011. Watch this space for more information!
 
As ever, feel free to email us with expressions of interest, support and criticism, and please forward this message far and wide.
 
FALLEN LEAVES: not just education, more than entertainment, Fallen Leaves is positive action.

Coming soon – PUPPET POWER!

 

Fallen Leaves’ facilitators have been drafted in by Harvest Centre, Sentul, in conjunction with the UNHCR to run vocational training with dynamic youths from the urban poor community, with the hopes of giving them the skills and necessary language abilities to operate successfully in a working environment. This innovative programme combines elements of the communicative method of English teaching with theatre of the oppressed and forum theatre, a truly original and exciting approach.
 
As part of this intensive programme, we are delighted to report our first international guest of 2011 – Mr Grad from Hong Kong – who will be arriving in February to facilitate a course in puppet-making on the theme of past, present and future, using this artistic exploration to discover deeper understanding and motivate these kids that the sky really is the limit. The puppetmaking course and Grad’s residency have been organised in conjunction with Malaysia’s only butoh dance group, the wonderful Nyoba Kan www.nyobakan.blogspot.com
 
To make this happen, we need huge quantities of newspaper, bamboo canes, cloth, glue and scissors. If anyone has any old newspapers hanging around, then please email through and get them to us before February 10th.

Word Sound Have Power Returns!

Our UK branch throws its second fundraiser in honour of the Fallen leaves Community … if you know anyone in London, get them along to witness some truly fantastic acts!

 

Following our smashing launch night in August, we’re thrilled to announce that on Friday 28th January (pay day!), our Word Sound Have Power event will return to London!

 

Expect a night jam-packed with acoustic jams, stand-up comedy, an art exhibition and a smattering of spoken word – all accompanied by some great drinks promotions to ease the pain of those post-Christmas bank balance blues.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=154298291286598