Nitwa Ariyan. (My name is Ariyan.) I have needed the time to reflect and soak in my experiences here in Rwanda. From waking up to the rhythm and song of the group of morning joggers to the walk up to Kigali Institute of Education (KIE). Nibyiza! Beauty is everywhere in the people, in the country terrain, and in the work. I have been so blessed to be a part of how drama connects people through this artistic exchange.
Today was the first day we worked with the KIE students in brainstorming ideas, tableaux (still images), and devising forum theatre, which is an element of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. After viewing the play once, the audience participates by intervening on behalf of the protagonist to find options and solutions for the issue of oppression.
Wow! It was so much fun. It didn’t matter if it was done in Kinyarwanda or English. We communicated through the art. Understanding each other through the process of creating. Our group brainstormed issues from ageism, racism, sexism, to abuse. There was so much to choose from. I am so excited for tomorrow and Wednesday. Tomorrow we finish devising the forum pieces and Wednesday we present them. I can’t wait to see the varying issues of oppression in everyone’s pieces of work.
~Ariyan Johnson McDaniel