Community Theatre and Peace Dialogue Project
2017 | Cambodia
April 2015 marked the 40th anniversary since the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia. Dealing with the Khmer Rouge past is still in process. During this time, almost 2 million Cambodians died, from execution, starvation, forced labour, malnutrition and torture. Knowledge about this time is still limited in the younger generation. The reasons for current conflicts can not be seen isolated from the past events.
The Cambodian-German Cultural Association came up with a creative idea together with two partner organisations Youth For Peace and Khmer Art Action. Community Theatre and Dialogue reach young people by focusing on past violence and current conflicts in the society. The theatre play "The Courageous Turtle" makes use of the “Two-Hander” approach, in which two actors switch into the role of several characters. It is thereby possible that two narrators tell a story from multiple perspectives. The play was performed in schools and universities across the country and supported community dialogue with youth and survivors. The theatre play is documented on film, aired on TV and on social media.
This could reach a large young audience by informing about the past and by building a bridge to current social conflicts as the weak human rights situation and limited freedom of expression.