Nadia helped coordinate the first “Encuentro Centroamericano de Arte Comunitario, Masculinidades y Buen Vivir” (“Central American Community Art, Masculinities, and Good Living Forum”) in Guatemala! This “Encuentro” focused on weaving alliances and promoting exchange scenarios between existing networks in Central America while creating a suitable environment for reflection and dialogue about hegemonic masculinity and gender violence. It proposed community art as a way to transform power relations in order to promote other ways of experiencing masculinity and other ways to relate to one an other and to mother earth. Such relations have “good living” as its basis as they promote harmonious, respectful and responsible relationships with nature while promoting the full physical, emotional and spiritual development of all individuals.
Along with her work partner and organizer of the Encuentro, Otto Manrique, she also taught one of the main workshops offered: Teatro Foro y Masculinidad (Forum Theater and Masculinity). The Encuentro, which brought together 100 people from all over Central America, including indigenous groups, was a total success! Nadia is grateful for the opportunity to be part of this incredible event. She is happy to facilitate spaces were community art, alternative masculinities, and good living come together.
For the past two months, Nadia has been working on a Community Art
project in a low-income neighborhood in León, Nicaragua. This project is sponsored by United Nations, and it is part of a “plan de desarrolllo comunitario” (community development plan) which has as central theme the prevention and eradication of the violence against women. This project is being launched by the organizations Relajo Nicaragua and the Colectivo Zanquistas Fuego y Son. The first phase of the project has focused on a “diagnóstico comunitario participativo” (participatory community diagnosis/research), in which the researchers/facilitators teach workshops using tools such as theater, and along with people from he neighborhood, through art, they research the needs and desires of the community, as well as the ideas, perceptions and practices related to hegemonic masculinity, sexual and reproductive rights, and gender violence. Nadia, along with her colleagues Otto Manrique and Fernanda Siles, is working closely with the inhabitants of the Tomás Borge neighborhood, especially with a group of teens who thanks to this project, are now using art not only to reflect about their own reality, but also to ask questions and to raise awareness about violence.
Nadia just taught a Theater of the Oppressed module for the Escuela de Arte Comunitario (Community Art School) in Nicaragua. It was an intense two day workshop, full of emotions and colors. Nadia taught along side of her colleges Otto Manrique and Fernanda Siles. The workshop included an introduction to Theater of the Oppressed and explored techniques such as Image Theater and Newspaper Theater. Nadia was both, excited and humbled to have the opportunity to share with such a wonderful group. Theater is powerful!
Nadia just returned from teaching Theater of the Oppressed and other techniques in Guatemala and Nicaragua! Nadia taught alongside with her colleague Otto Manrique. They taught workshops for different theater groups and community organizations in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and in several cities in Nicaragua including Managua, León, and Matagalpa. Workshops included Body and Movement, Newspaper Theater, Object Theater, and Improv, all in relation to Theater of the Oppressed. Nadia is thankful for this wonderful opportunity and looks forward to continuing her work with the community!
Otto and Nadia named the tour Giraca: Arte Girando por Centro América (Giraca: Art Rolling through Central America). Read what the organization Managua Furiosa is saying about the tour!
Nadia was invited by the Mexican organization CAFAMI (Migrant Family Support Center) to teach a Theater of the Oppressed workshop. CAFAMI’s mission is to “bring awareness and attack the root causes of migration while reducing the negative impact of migration that separates families and threatens the local way of life.” Nadia taught the workshop to women in the rural community of San Francisco Tetlanohcan, in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico. This community is characterized by high rates of migration. During her time in the community, Nadia was able to experience the other side of immigration and the devastating results of family separation. The week-long workshop culminated with a Forum Theater piece created by the women, which will be brought to the United States in 2015 in hopes to raise awareness about the causes and the consequences of migration and immigration.
This was a wonderful experience and Nadia is thankful for the opportunity she had to share with this amazing women!
After participating for several months in a theater workshop conducted by Nadia, a group of teens from the Hope Community Center performed their Theater of the Oppressed piece Jaguar You? The title of the piece is a play on words as the Spanish word jaguar is pronounced very much like the English words how are. The play was written by the teens themselves and it is based on their own experiences and issues.The piece was done in the style of Forum Theater, and was presented in two open performances to the community and a private performance for the teens’ peers who are part of the Hope Community Center’s Youth Group SIn Fronteras.
Through the process and the performance, the teens have been able to find their own voice and have used it to express themselves, talk about their own issues, and discuss the oppression they experience. In addition the piece engaged the community as through the forum, the audience was invited to discuss the issues and propose solutions. The creative process and theater workshops promoted self-reflection and personal growth, and the teens learned valuable life skills. Nadia is very proud of the teens. They did an outstanding job!
Nadia attended the III Latin-American Theater of the Oppressed Festival in Bolivia! She collaborated with and participated in workshops, watched performances, attended talks, discussed projects, and shared with other Theater of the Oppressed practitioners and with the hospitable residents of La Paz.
The Festival brought together people from all over Latin America and showcased the incredible work of performers, educators, and activists who use this technique to generate consciousness and social change. The result of the workshops was shared with the residents of La Paz in an all-day street performance.
Nadia just returned from completing a two month residency program at Augusto Boal’s Center for the Theater of the Oppressed (CTO) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This program is both practical and theoretical, and aims at deepening the participant’s knowledge and understanding of the Theater of the Oppressed. This type of theater seeks to give people (the oppressed) a voice. Through it, the oppressed can reassume their protagonistic function in society. Theater is placed at the service of the oppressed, so that they can discover new concepts, ideas, and tools to deal with oppression and oppressive situations, all while expressing themselves.
Besides learning from the “original curingas,” Nadia attended seminars and talks, labs and training workshops, worked with popular groups such as “As Marias do Brasil” (“The Marys of Brazil,” a group led by domestic workers), “Pirei na Cenna” (“Crazy on scene,” a group led by patients of a psychiatric hospital), and was part of different projects including performing in the piece “Cor do Brasil” (“Color of Brazil,” a piece dealing with racism). Nadia was also part of the Curso de Formação Internacional- Módulo II: Imagem, Palavra e Som. (International Training Course – Module II: Image, Word, and Sound).
Nadia learned a lot and at the same time had the opportunity to experience the wonderful Brazilian culture. This was an amazing experience that she will never forget!