The Theatre Lab in Graz appeared in a “Mini-Festival”, which opened a theatrical space for creative exchange and dia-logue among people of civil society who were engaging in refugee and integration work.
The lab took place after a series of interactive Playback Theatre performances and discussions and was attended by a group of 12 highly diverse people: students, volunteers, professionals, activists, refugees and members of InterACT.
The Theatre Workshop itself was focused on many different issues. People were challenged by some of the following issues: grief about leaving friends and family behind, feelings of powerlessness while dealing with rejection and hostility against refugees among friends, colleagues and members of a political party, facing tough situations at the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum, or considering how best to support refugees during job interviews (for example, if they are told not to wear a headscarf).
The discussions and theatrical scenes also created situations in which people felt insecure and unsure how to behave or act in the context of refugee relief without crossing or injuring personal borders. With regard to the “Rainbow of Desire”- event about “US and THEM”, this event was extremely emotional for everyone involved: “hard misunderstanding” was the title of a story between a female volunteer and a male refugee, where open and friendly gestures were misinterpreted and led to a huge misunderstanding. After showing a video of a belly dancer on his smartphone to the volunteer, the man persistently tried to kiss the woman. She refused and both experienced lots of contradictory feelings and thoughts. It was an exemplary moment during which many people experienced conflicting feelings and who (after almost 2 years) could build more sustainable, deeper connections to the new arrivals.
Gallery1, Playback Theater >
Gallery2, Workshop >
Gallery3, Round Table >