Wake Up, through high quality performing art, develops cultural practice using music/creative arts to foster tolerance and understanding between ethnic and socially divided communities. The methodology employed creates a sense of place and confidence to promote cultural tolerance, conflict resolution, peaceful co-existence and the respect for human rights and democracy.
Wake Up has three main objectives:
a. to develop high quality international youth music theatre production and performance
b. to train cultural leaders in the methodology of using music and the creative arts to foster understanding for cultural diversity and peaceful coexistence
c. to influence at national and international level the use of this methodology in cultural policy and implementation.
The Wake Up partnership brings together: Opera Circus’ (OC) experience in partnership building and project delivery with international performances, music and the creative arts; Edinburgh University (UoE) and Musicians without Borders(MwB) which develop applied methodologies in workshops and performance, demonstrating the cultural impact of music as a transforming power; and Teatar Mimart’s (Mimart) renowned skills in creating mime/physical theatre with excluded and divided communities, adds a further high quality artistic dimension to the project.
Programme of Events:
Wake Up demonstrates via an integrated series of activities and events, the power of partnerships to achieve more together. All the following events were completed with a very high level of success fulfilling the aims of Wake Up :
Event 1.May 2010 Alkmaar, Netherlands. Launch/Opening Concert ‘Reconciliation, Peace and Diversity’ led by MwB. Partnership meeting to introduce Wake Up and to develop working practice and communication
Event 2. Dec 2010 Vienna, Austria/Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2 performances of Differences in Demolition in Concert at the Cultural Centre, Srebrenica, BiH, and at the Hofburg, Vienna, Austria hosted by the OSCE. One day of partnership meetings with cultural and political decision makers to discuss influencing cultural policy at the highest level at the British Embassy Vienna.
Event 3. March 2011 Belgrade, Serbia. Workshops and performance of newly devised youth theatre production The Chosen Ones Wake Up, by Teater Mimart with audience discussion and partnership meeting exploring international collaborative youth theatre and communication and media training with experts.
Event 4. July 2011 Pula, Croatia/Mostar,Bosnia and Herzegovina. Summer Music School for Special Needs Children and Young People led by the University of Edinburgh. Partnership meeting to discuss the development of integrated and inclusive youth theatre with training. Also discussed development of new partnerships and the final event in the UK.
Event 5/6. April/May 2012 Dorset and London, UK. Training and Skills sharing, Conference, International Youth Theatre Festival. Simply Human evaluation and the Future led by Opera Circus Dorset UK with UoE and Teater Mimart.
Youth theatre performances of The Chosen Ones Wake Up by Teater Mimart with the Srebrenica Youth Theatre Company B-Smisao and Land Above Us All, the first production from the newly formed Youth Theatre company FETUS from Srebrenica.
The Events 5 and 6 also included the following :
- Two further newly devised performances, Wake Up from youth theatre company BACStage, Bridport, UK and from Thomas Hardye’s School Drama Group from Dorchester, UK performing a piece about Women’s Rights based on Carol Churchill’s “Vinegar Tom”.
- One conference concerning the uses and misuses of Neuroscience in relation to education and learning through culture and the creative arts, in particular music and the methodologies in use at present.
- A day of workshops and activities on Youth and Democracy.
- The presentation of a film made about the young cultural leaders from Srebrenica to the All Party Committee at the House of Commons, Westminster, London with a debate with Members of Parliament about the importance of culture and the arts to develop peaceful and tolerant societies.
- A series of workshops on music, puppetry, craft, evaluation techniques all designed to facilitate the uses of cultural activity to develop communication and the development of understanding.
- A partnership meeting to discuss the long term aims and sustainability of Wake Up 2. Possible new partners discussed.
- The commission of a creative assessment and evaluation of process with all participants in order to develop integrated long term planning.
Photo credits: Lidjia Antonovic and Robert Golden
PROJECT IN FOCUS
‘The success of Wake Up we believe is due to the integration of the cultural and creative opportunities through a devised and open process. From the workshops with children and young people, through to international quality performance (Differences in Demolition) to the development of youth theatre, to cultural visits and events and then the communication of the power and influence of these cultural activities. The individual elements have joined into a creative whole which has inspired us to continue in the next project with a much larger group of partners. We have the support of our Town and Regional Councils and with a very large number of political and diplomatic individuals and organisations aware of the quality and importance of the work who have expressed their desire to support us in the future.’
- Tina Ellen Lee, Opera Circus
‘I endeavour to share the work of Opera Circus (and the EU’s Wake Up initiative) across my school and relate it to many different aspects of the school to highlight the importance of democracy and the importance of understanding one another.’
- Rory Newbery (16) Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester, Dorset, UK