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FEMINIST LEGISLATIVE THEATRE

A workshop facilitated by Bárbara SantosLegislative Theatre:

In the Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), a method systematized by Augusto Boal, staging must provoke reflection and encourage action. In other words, theatre is not enough.

The Legislative Theatre, on of TO’s techniques, was developed between 1993-96, when Augusto Boal was a representative of the Rio de Janeiro City Council and there was an urgent need for action. Bárbara Santos has been the head of office and acting as Kuringa of several popular groups at the same time. She was deeply linked to this process, also in terms of its conception and structuring. The team worked with dozens of community groups on their local issues through Forum Theatre productions. They organized public events in which the audience could discuss and draft bills ensuring that the proposals voted and approved could have the appropriate referrals through the mandate. The real life of the theatre groups members was the starting point and inspiration for the Forum Theatre pieces. And the Legislative Theatre sessions were the collective exercise of seeking of alternatives to transform that reality.

The City Council procedures guided the development of the Legislative Theatre during the mandate and afterwards, when the technique was disseminated among Theatre of the Oppressed practitioners and has been expanding its focus beyond drafting laws. Since then, Legislative Theatre did not refer only to questions directly linked to legislation. It could still address the creation of a new law or the modification of an already existing law. But it also became a claim for specific policies, or the organizing of a public action, for a petition or another form of mobilization. 

Since 2016, together with several theatre groups from Ma-g-dalena International Network of Teatro de las Oprimidas, Bárbara Santos has been developed a Legislative Theatre experience in line with their feminist -antiracist/decolonial/community- practice.

To do so, we eliminated solemnity of the transition between the Forum and the Legislative sessions, which was meant to symbolically represent the rites of the City Council; We carefully reinforced the articulation with associations and social movements to guarantee both a committed audience and the organizational support for subsequent actions; We replaced the central coordination of the process with a decentralization of the discussion between small groups, collectivizing the drafting of the proposals in order to horizontalize the relationship between experts and audience and avoid the reproduction of power structures.”

Bárbara Santos

In 2019, Bárbara Santos developed a workshop model to spread this practice among Ma-g-dalena Network practitioners. Through a creative process participants are searching for themes and/or struggles, which can represent a meeting point and a common ground among them to produce a Forum Theater play. Allies, experts, and the audience interested on the upcoming topics are invited for a Legislative Session in which the theatre production is going to be the channel to deepen discussions, analyze the social problem represented and develop collective proposals for the implementation of concrete and continuous actions.

From August 29th to September 1st, for the first time in Berlin, Bárbara Santos will facilitate a Feminist Legislative Theatre workshop based on feminist aesthetics with an original repertoire of exercises, games, and techniques from the Teatro de las Oprimidas and a Legislative Session in a public event at the end. 

This workshop is open to all people interested in aesthetic tools to provoke reflection and encourage action. 

When:            August 29th till September 1st, 2024 (Total: 25h)

Timetable:     Thursday and Friday, 4pm-9pm / Saturday, 10am-6pm

            Sunday, course: 11am-4pm and public event 5pm-7pm

Where:           KURINGA Berlin (Grüntaler Str. 35, 13359 Berlin)

Who:             Adults / Artists / Activists / Social Workers / No gender restriction    

Language:     English  

Info:               qualification@kuringa.org

Forum Theatre Weekend

Forum Theatre Weekend in August: A Unique Experience in Berlin

Welcome to the Forum Theatre Weekend, an unmissable opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of forum theatre and experience the innovative approach developed by KURINGA with collective interventions and impacting artistic expression.

Dates: August 22nd, 23rd and 24th
Time: Performances at 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM
Location: Uferstudios (Badstraße 41, Wedding)

Forum theatre is a form of participatory theatre that invites the audience to become spect-actors, interacting directly with the themes and situations presented on stage. In this context, the audience has the opportunity to intervene in the narrative, perform their strategies and generate dialogues that promote reflection and social change.

At Kuringa, we are dedicated to exploring new dimensions of forum theatre, taking aesthetic presentation to the next level through careful attention to the artistic richness offered by this form of expression. Our focus is on creating impactful collective interventions that challenge perceptions and stimulate critical thinking.

During the Forum Theatre Weekend, you will have the opportunity to witness exciting performances by groups related to Kuringa, who explore a wide range of social and political issues through forum theatre. These performances offer a unique insight into contemporary realities, providing the audience with a deeply enriching experience.

We particularly highlight the performance by the Qualification Course group directed by Bárbara Santos and Till Baumann. This unique theatrical experience combines the expertise and vision of two renowned leaders in the field of forum theatre, promising a captivating presentation that will challenge your perceptions and invite you to actively participate in the theatrical process.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this unique experience in Berlin. The Forum Theatre Weekend in August is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of participatory theatre and explore new forms of artistic and social expression. We look forward to welcoming you!

Ticket Information: Tickets can be collected directly at the venue. We recommend a solidarity contribution of 5-10 euros to support Kuringa in self-organizing this event.

Your participation in this experiment of revolution is greatly appreciated.

Questions & information : qualification@kuringa.org

Theatre of the Oppressed: an introduction

Have you ever wondered how theater can be a powerful tool for promoting social justice and community change? Or how theatrical techniques can be used to stimulate dialogue and reflection on important issues?

If so, then our Introduction to Theatre of the Oppressed workshop is for you!

This is an invitation to a unique learning and discovery experience, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore techniques and fundamental principles of Theatre of the Oppressed, developed by the renowned Brazilian playwright Augusto Boal. Our unique and distinctive style is influenced by the innovative approach of Bárbara Santos, who continues to develop the methodology with an intersectional feminist perspective and a special attention to the aesthetics.

At the heart of our approach is the understanding that theater can be a powerful form of community engagement and social transformation. We are excited to offer the Introduction to Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore these concepts and techniques in a practical and dynamic way directly with our experienced facilitators, Eva Gloria and João Albertini.

During the workshop, we’ll explore different theatrical techniques, such as image theatre, forum theatre and games to stimulate dialogue and reflection.

Additionally, we want to emphasize that the safety and well-being of participants are our top priority. We are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

No previous theater experience is necessary – this workshop is open to everyone, regardless of your skill level or experience.

If you’re ready to explore new forms of expression and connect with other participants, send us an email to register qualification@kuringa.org and join the Introduction to Theatre of the Oppressed workshop!

Workshop Details:

  • Date: July 13th and 14th
  • Time: 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Location: KURINGA ( Grüntalerstr. 35, 3
  • Price: €150
  • Registration: qualification@kuringa.org

We look forward to seeing you there!

Games & Exercises

 “Theater is a form of knowledge; it is the place where individuals can model new worlds, new realities, and new possibilities.” – Augusto Boal

 “Games and exercises” is an immersive workshop inspired by Augusto Boal’s groundbreaking book “Games for actors and non-actors”. Led by Christoph Leucht, director of KURINGA, artistic director of the acclaimed forum group WIR SIND HIER!, and a key contributor to the Masculinities Lab, this workshop promises to be enrich your knowledge 

In this dynamic and engaging workshop, we will delve into a series of games and exercises carefully crafted to expand our scenic repertoire, foster creativity, and cultivate critical thinking. Christoph’s wealth of experience and expertise in applied theater ensures that participants will not only learn new techniques but also gain deeper insights into the power of theater as a tool for social change.

We’ll kick off with a vibrant warm-up session designed to awaken our senses and prepare our bodies and minds for the theatrical journey ahead. From there, we’ll dive into a series of theater games that will stimulate our imaginations, foster collaboration, and strengthen our bonds as a group.

This workshop is open to everyone, including educators, community leaders, activists, artists, and anyone with a passion for social justice and creative expression. No prior experience in theater is required—all you need is an open mind and a willingness to engage.

By participating in this workshop, you’ll not only acquire valuable tools for your theatrical toolkit but also become part of a dynamic and supportive community of individuals dedicated to using theater as a catalyst for positive change.

Kuringa is a self-funded association that relies on the contributions from participants in our workshops. We want to emphasize that by paying for our workshops, participants are directly supporting the existence and continuity of political work through art that we carry out. The funds raised are allocated to maintaining our activities, which primarily aim to raise social awareness and promote change through artistic expressions committed to justice and social transformation. We deeply appreciate the support of all those who participate in our workshops and contribute to the strengthening of our work.

Feminist aesthetics for political poetics: Teatro de las Oprimidas

The workshop “Feminist Aesthetics for Political Poetics – TEATRO DE LAS OPRIMIDAS” delves into the challenges and discoveries made during practical applications developed since 2010 with theater groups and artist-activists from Latin America, Europe and Africa. And theoretical formulation of a theatrical methodology dedicated to the portrayal of oppressions intertwined with the intersections of gender, race and class, all from a structural standpoint. Our objective is to reframe perceptions of oppression and the associated responsibility to initiate change, all while avoiding the pitfalls of individualizing the issue or assigning blame to the people who contend with it.

We work with a repertoire of original exercises, games, and techniques, employing feminist aesthetics from an anti-racist, decolonial, and community perspective, in a practical demonstration of the method’s applicability. Also working with the strategies for enacting a theatrical dialogue that is both horizontal and contextual to foster a collaborative atmosphere among audience members during Forum Theatre proposals, enabling collective interactions. In this dynamic, each individual, drawing from their unique social standing and position, collaborates with others to collectively craft and improvise alternatives to the problem being portrayed on stage. 

This workshop is open to all people interested in aesthetic tools which aim of a view to dismantling patriarchy.

Bárbara Santos @barbara.kuringa

Playwright, director, actress, kuringa, author, poet/melodist, screenwriter, filmmaker, researcher and feminist-anti-racist-decolonial activist, Bárbara Santos is the artistic director of the KURINGA theater space and the Madalena-Berlin group in Berlin, Germany; consultant to the Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed, editor of METAXIS magazine and artistic director of the groups Cor do Brasil, Madalena-Anastácia, and Cia Teatral CTO RIO, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and founder of the Ma-g-dalena International Network of Teatro de las Oprimidas, made up of theater groups from Latin America, Africa, and Europe. Her artistic journey includes diverse experiences in more than 40 countries.

Over the span of her career, Bárbara has researched and developed innovative artistic approaches that deal with the intersections between gender, race, and class from a contextual perspective, through feminist aesthetics, with a focus on creative sound and rhythmic paths. These artistic processes have been systematized in three books she has written, including Teatro de las Oprimidas – feminist aesthetics for political poetics, published in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. 

As a performer, she explores the aesthetic transition from the colonized body to the political body. 

Cinema has been her main area of activity as an actor, with a highlight being her performance as Filomena (Filó) in The Invisible Life (by Karim Aïnouz), winner of the Grand Prix at the Un Certain Regard showcase in Cannes 2019, which earned her a nomination for best supporting actress for the 2020 Brazilian Cinema Grand Prix. In 2023, she made her debut as a filmmaker and screenwriter with Ash Wednesday, a medium-length musical film with her music, selected for BERLINALE (Germany), Rio Film Festival (Brazil), War on Screen (France), Filmets Badalona (Spain), among others, throughout 2023.

Kuringa is a self-funded association that relies on the contributions from participants in our workshops. We want to emphasize that by paying for our workshops, participants are directly supporting the existence and continuity of political work through art that we carry out. The funds raised are allocated to maintaining our activities, which primarily aim to raise social awareness and promote change through artistic expressions committed to justice and social transformation. We deeply appreciate the support of all those who participate in our workshops and contribute to the strengthening of our work.

Music concert: Brasil Portal Sonoro

Escape the winter blues and join us for an intimate January evening filled with the soulful rhythms of Brazil. We’re excited to present Raphael Pippa, all the way from Rio de Janeiro, in a special one-night performance in Berlin.

Catch the unique blend of samba, jongo, côco, ijexas, maracatu, and more, as Pippa’s rhythmic guitar harmonizes with the soulful vocals of Patchamora and the beats of Brazilian percussions.

🗓 Date & Time: 14 January at 7pm

We invite you to forget the outside world for a while, cozy up with us, and let the music create a shared moment of connection.

We will have fresh drinks and a warm soup to welcoming you

Entry : donation

Jana Sanskriti, Center of Theatre of the Oppressed India in Berlin

Unveiling the Power of Theatre: Jana Sanskriti’s Legacy in Theatre of the Oppressed

Step into the world of Jana Sanskriti (JS), the trailblazing Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) that pioneered this transformative art form in India.

JS’s theatre teams, reaching thousands monthly, present performances that are not just aesthetically refined but also laden with hard-hitting questions about our societal fabric. Rather than prescribing solutions, JS invites spect-actors, transforming passive spectators into engaged participants. Established in 1985, JS has witnessed the evolution of “spect-acting” from a theatrical experience to a powerful force motivating activism beyond the stage.

As JS blurs the lines between acting and activism, their participatory theatre plays a pivotal role in reshaping social norms. Across various regions in India, “spect-acting” has proven to create a resilient community of active and responsible citizens.

Join us in uncovering the profound impact of JS’s participatory theatre, where the stage becomes a catalyst for change, and the audience transforms into a community of empowered, socially responsible individuals.

Lecture ( 5 € entry, no need of previous registrations)

18. January, 7 pm @ Grüner Salon an der Volksbühne, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz 2, 10718 Berlin

Theatre as politics’ – a Jana Sanskriti experience

20. – 21. January, 1 – 6 pm @ Grüner Salon an der Volksbühne, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz 2, 10718

Theatre-Workshop: Scripting Play instead of Playing The Script – theatre of the oppressed from India:

The Games and exercise will be improvised as social metaphors. While playing games the stories will emerge for the participants’ lived experience.  That is how the scripting will be done. Character understanding and structuring the play evolved in the workshop might be included

Sanjoy Ganguly

Registration to the Workshop in Volksbühne page here

Day of Teatro de las Oprimidas

Feminist theatre of the oppressed

Madalena-Berlin invites you on Sunday 15th October at 7pm to a special celebration that marks both Teatro de las Oprimidas Day and pays homage to the visionary behind this transformative movement, Bárbara Santos.

As part of our celebration, we offer you a glimpse into the global impact of our work through the eyes of the Ma(g)dalenas Network. Videos showcasing the encounters and enriching experiences of this network provide a window into how feminist theatre can unite voices from different corners of the world in the pursuit of social justice and equality.

We look forward to sharing this memorable occasion with you.

Teatro de las Oprimidas: workshop & celebration

Have you ever wondered how theatre can be a powerful tool to challenge gender oppressions? 

We invite you to discover it with us in an  feminist Theatre of the Oppressed workshop!

Madalena-Berlin, the feminist group working on themes related to gender and patriarcal oppressions, invites you to participate in a workshop from October 12th to 15th to get to know the methodology from inside. The workshop, facilitated by Eva Gloria and Bibiana Lopera, is only for women and dissidences. Cis- men are not welcomed.

Additionally, on October 15th, we will celebrate the feminist Theatre of the Oppressed Day with an event open for everyone.

About the Workshop: 

Over four days, we will explore how patriarchy irrumps in our bodies and our minds. We will explore using aesthetical methods in order to create a space  for exchange through the power of theatre. Our workshop will include: 

– dynamic theatre and aesthetics exercises. 

– In-depth discussions on gender oppressions. 

– Interactive activities that will challenge you to think critically. 

– A safe space to share experiences and perspectives 

– the creation of a performance to  celebrate togheter the day of Teatro das Oprimidas 

Date: October

12th and 13th from 5pm to 8pm 

14th and 15th from 11am to 6pm with a public presentation at 7pm  on 15th October

Location: KURINGA, Grüntaler Straße 35 

Cost: solidarity exchange 150euros  

Registration: madalenasberlin@gmail.com, subject : October workshop

IMPORTANT: we dont accept any trans, racist, class, age phobia

A Week of Transformation: Qualification Course

We are delighted to share the end of our week-long Theatre of the Oppressed Qualification Course, which brought together participants from around the world. In this intensive programme, our collective embarked on a thought-provoking journey, culminating in a Theatre Forum production that delved into a pressing issue: the play, entitled “Smile Factory”, asks what to do when the pace of mass production enters into life deciding when it is time to rest, have fun, socialise which leads to exhaustion and burnout.

The performance was monumental, with a diverse cast of 40 people joining forces to create a masterpiece. Throughout the forum, we explored powerful interventions, engaged in lively discussions on self-empowerment and strategies to defend workers’ rights, including the powerful tool of strikes.

What has really impressed us during this trip is the overwhelming and moving interest in this methodology. Participants have come from all over the world, from Kenya to the United States, Palestine to Colombia. Such enthusiasm has even led to a waiting list for future workshops.

This is a tribute not only to the dedication of each participant, but also a recognition of the lifelong efforts of luminaries such as Bárbara Santos, who tirelessly carried forward the legacy set in motion by Boal, and the visionary Till Baumann.

We thank you wholeheartedly for being part of our extraordinary journey.

Picture 2 and 5 by Mohammad Ali Deeb DeebDance

Other pics by Kativa Gloria