Beirut DC is proud to announce the launch of its new project “Van 12”
“Van 12” is a project that puts children’s voices at the heart of a street theatre performance through the use of recorded storytelling audio. Stories have been gathered through workshops and discussions with Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian children who have had their rights neglected or violated. The children have anonymously shared their experiences about how they are coping with violence, bullying, poverty, forced labor, and other violations of their legal rights. The stories will be presented alongside a performance by a team of professional actors in public spaces around Lebanon on a fantastical, movable, drivable set. The overall goal is to use theater and storytelling to raise awareness among people living in both cities and remote areas in Lebanon of the importance of child rights, to teach children what their rights are, and to know where and how to find help. “Van 12” derives its name from the idea of a travelling troupe who present stories which teach 12 of the most fundamental protections from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
For the first two phases of the project, two of our artists from Clown Me In and Beirut DC, Sabine Choucair & Farah Kassem, spent 40 days working with young people throughout Lebanon. Groups they have worked with include street children, child workers, schoolchildren, and mothers living in Beirut, Bekaa, Akkar, The North, and South Lebanon. They conducted storytelling workshops and created an open space in which young people spoke about their needs, thoughts and experiences related to their human and child rights.
The pair selected five of the many stories to record, and these have been edited to form the basis of the production. The stories are about the daily struggles as well as the future hopes and dreams of the young participants. While the young people themselves have brought us much joy through this process, their stories are often difficult to hear…and this is precisely why it is so urgent that we share them, to raise awareness and create a safer future for our young people.
An exciting team of professional performers will be presenting a highly physical and playful production based on the recorded stories. The show will highlight 12 of the most fundamental child rights, and teach these rights to the audience as the piece unfolds. We are currently in rehearsals and will premiere the piece on the 5th of October 2017 in Chebaa-Marjeyoun, touring for 22 performances throughout Lebanon through the 16th of October 2017.