Theatre Addresses Gender Violence in Haiti
Bond Street Theatre Returns to Port-au-Prince to Create an Original Show about the Earthquake, its Tragic Aftermath, and the Ongoing Effects on Women and Girls
New York, NY, February 20, 2012 - Bond Street Theatre returns to Haiti this Friday to continue their partnership with Haitian women's group FAVILEK. The program uses theatre to spread information about the violence women still face in the tent camps more than two years after the earthquake.
Ten survivors of domestic and political violence founded FAVILEK (Women Victims Get Up, Stand Up) in 1991 with a theatrical response to the political coup: Ochan Pou Tout Fanm Yo Obliye (Tribute To All Forgotten Women). Bond Street Theatre met Maricia Jean, a FAVILEK co-founder, in New York City on the first anniversary of the earthquake. She requested the company's help to create a new piece about the current issues faced by Haitian women in the tent camps.
Maricia stands tall at a 2011 workshop.
When asked why the group chose theatre, Bazelais, another founding member of FAVILEK replied, "to have an outlet for our feelings of what we have endured."
The Bond Street Theatre Haiti team spent a month in Port-au-Prince last spring performing The Flying Head (La Tet San Ko) in the tent camps and presenting workshops for women and children, thanks to the support of the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The team and FAVILEK began work on a new performance to bring information about women's rights and the disasters of gender violence to the Haitian community.
The Haiti team - Anna Zastrow, Christina Pinnell, and Joshua Wynter - returns to Port-au-Prince on February 24, again thanks to the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, to teach theatrical skills to the women of FAVILEK and develop the new show for performing in tent camps and other locations in Haiti to raise awareness about ongoing violence against women. The two groups intend to bring the performance to tour the USA.
The Haiti Project will also facilitate partnerships between FAVILEK and local governmental and non-governmental organizations that need their services and performances to build the sustainability of FAVILEK and ensure more opportunities to alert community stakeholders to this pressing issue.
|Josh teaches stilt walking.|
Two years after the earthquake in Haiti, half a million displaced people still live in tent camps and in increasingly difficult and volatile conditions. Women in the camps face many challenges: lack of income, little to no security, supporting children alone, forced prostitution, and disease.
Theatre provides a mouthpiece for Haitian women who are silenced in national and international discourse. The theatre arts serve as an effective means to ease the traumatic effects of disaster and poverty by providing a voice to the voiceless, a safe space to explore the issues, and stimulating creative problem solving and self-expression.
The women of FAVILEK were enthusiastic about the 2011 project with Bond Street Theatre:"We feel so much stronger now!" "Now we feel like we can do anything!"
Bond Street Theatre has a long history of creating successful theatre projects that promote community development and local capacity building, particularly in communities suffering from conflict, disaster or poverty. The ensemble returned February 14 from a month-long project in Myanmar, and will continue their Theatre for Social Development project in Afghanistan this March.
The Haiti Project is made possible by a generous grant from the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, an organization that provides relief and development in some of the most crucial areas around the world, a grant from the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince, and contributions from individual donors.
For more information or to schedule an interview in the US or Haiti, please contact Olivia Harris at 212-254-4614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.