Theatre for Good Governance

The principles of good governance are participation, transparency, responsive representation and accountability. Genuine ‘participation’ and ‘accountability’ are difficult to achieve even the most stable environments; in the challenging, fractured contexts in which we work, it can only be achieved through locally driven, culturally appropriate action, that navigates power dynamics with sensitivity.

“Mutu umodzi susenza denga” One head does not carry the roof” Chinyanja proverb, Malawi / Zambia

Our Good Governance work takes many forms. We have used creativity to workshop with government officials, counsellors and farmers in southern Africa; toured forum theatre productions to different target audiences; and devised and performed plays to wide audiences on matters national interest.  Our projects have ranged from fundamental explorations of the nature of power and meaning of democracy, to public discussion on the mechanics of delivering a service such as water between water users, service providers and government officials?

 Examples of Arts for Action Good Governance work:

  • Radio and community theatre for Decentralisation and democratisation in Malawi
  • Using arts and communication to improve Local Governance in Zimbabwe
  • Public discussion on the legal and political implications of the food crisis in Malawi
  • National tour of performances and workshops

 Training in applying theatre and communication to improve governance includes interrogating good governance principles; approaches for engaging local and national leadership; how to ambush or integrate the target audience; how to use alienation effectively; how to bring target audiences into the process and why this is valuable; designing a “Good Governance” intervention; structuring community dialogue into theatre games and production; Constructing narratives to explore for example, principles of power, decision making processes, engagement, disempowerment, disenfranchisement, rights, vigilance, accountability; making theatre about specific issues eg: voting, corruption, leadership, service delivery.

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