This event was organized by a small but highly active and involved group of women, all of whom have had a lot of ex-perience doing voluntary work with refugees. All the games and techniques inspired a vivid and powerful dialogue within the group, which investigated many challenging situations faced as part of the integration work itself.
These included how to deal with conflicts among refugees when there is not enough food or clothes for all of them, or when it is hard to understand each other, and the refugees only politely say „yes, yes …“.
Some situations shared also had to do with conflicts experienced with members of the state authority or police. And in some scenes, the question that arose was how to deal with highly dogmatic (or even fundamentalist) opinions that were expressed in a language class.
(Margareta Peršić / The Swallow’s Tail Association)
The experience of participating in the Common Ground workshop had a profound effect on me. Games that were based on the Forum Theatre principles could easily be applied to situations about refugee issues as well as used to connect the group and create a cohesive one. The workshop gave us insights into the different perceptions and perspectives of a person left with nothing, a person who offered help and that of a ruthless system and the factor of human nature that overcomes all. It gave us insight into the refugees’ problems and allowed us to find ways to get at possible solutions through understanding, plus ways to untangle seemingly unsolvable situations. Our facilitator was creative and ready to face the challenge presented by dealing with participants in ways of quality instead of quantity. Although I have attended many Forum theatre workshops, this one directly encouraged me to join the volunteer program and invest even a fragment of my time where it’s most needed – in a refugee centre.