Most Mira run theatre projects for primary school children, and secondary school aged young people.
The projects provide a safe creative space to marginalised rural children who would not otherwise have a voice, and that they are run in a participatory method to allow the children and young people to express their creativity and work collaboratively with peers in a safe, supportive and empowering environment.
HOW DO THE PROJECTS WORK?
The participants are recruited from different schools in the Prijedor region, some of which are ethnically and religiously segregated- many of these young people live side by side but rarely interact.
Weekly Most Mira workshops encourage children to write, compose, design, evaluate and present their own theatre show on a theme of their choice- guided by the teachers and international arts volunteers who would inspire them with new approaches to music, drama, art and dance over four workshops. Overseeing the project is experienced bilingual theatre director Maja Milatovic Ovadia- who has delivered successful youth theatre projects for eight years with Most Mira. Teachers from the local schools are also recruited and trained to support the running of the projects.
WHY THEATRE PROJECTS?
The projects are unique in the region, where the majority of the limited youth services have political or religious motives, which further segregate the children- who live in ethnically divided rural communities badly affected by unemployment and unresolved traumas from the war. We offer a safe creative space to marginalised rural children who would not otherwise have a voice, just that. It is also important to note that arts in schools in Prijedor are highly limited and when available, it is commonly taught in a didactic manner, so children at our projects are encouraged to find their own voice, debate the creative direction of their performance and given the opportunity to develop their own creativity. Projects also have significant impact throughout the community, as the children tour their productions and hold an exhibitions about the process at local schools and the Prijedor Theatre, showing the power of youth voice and that a mixed cast can create their own story together- despite going to separate schools and living in increasingly divided communities.
We hope to support a new generation of integration; as due to their age, the consequences of the 1990s conflict are not fully embedded within the children. The teachers will also be working with colleagues from different backgrounds and will continue their training with Most Mira on participatory arts and using creativity to empower young people. Our projects enable teachers to develop professionally and they share these new teaching methods with their students in schools, bringing a new approach to the arts to many. The wider community, including the parents of the children, are engaged in the theatre project as audience members