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Sarah Dickson

Ambassador to Guatemala (June 2012 - June 2015)

Part of UK in Guatemala

25th November 2014

Speaking can break silence, but actions can transform reality

To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women I would like to share some information about the project ‘Never Again’. We are developing this project together with the National Union of Guatemalan Women (UNAMG) and Artistas Trabajando with the aim of preventing sexual violence in conflict. Today, we have a guest blogger, Margarita Lopez, who is coordinating the project:

‘Never Again’ is a project that seeks to prevent sexual violence in situations of conflict and empowers the victims and survivors of sexual violence. It aims to improve communication within communities and break taboos through the medium of interpretative theatre.

After an 8 month training process in artistic interpretation, women from the west (Pampojil√° and Solola), the north-east (Izabal and Alta Verapaz) and central regions (Peronia and Villa Nueva) have created theatre groups in their communities. And they have since been working on their own creations based on the methodology of Theatre of the Oppressed.

Their creations are centred around how to prevent gender violence according to how they live and how it affects their communities. The objective is that women can share with their communities the idea that speaking up can break the silence, but actions can transform reality. In this sense, the project has used access to theatre as a social tool that women can use in their communities. This can provide strategic solutions and allow spaces for reflection.

As a first step of the project every community now has a group of women through whom they can express their worries about the violent reality in which women in Guatemala live using the medium of theatre. Besides this being a form of expression, it also promotes dialogue between the community as a whole to look for possible solutions and answers to this problem.

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