Their Story in Their Own Voice

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After few weeks of workshops and days of recordings, we can say that so far, the experience has been energizing and confusing all at the same time. The daily interactions, sharing of stories, trust, laughter, tears…all of this has made us certain of the value of a project that creates these spaces for things to be spoken and shared. And the tagline that we chose, almost impulsively, “The World is Listening”, is the banner under which this space has been created. Our participants want the whole world to hear their stories.  Suddenly our role, as recorders and presenters, as the megaphone, becomes more than a simple digital or mechanical task. It is a creative challenge, one of listening to the language beneath the words, to empathizing with the hidden meaning which must so urgently be shared. To share someone’s story, you must first understand why it is so urgent to them.  What is the profound message underneath it?  What do they want the world to hear?  One person may talk of selling the family cow, and for them this could mean defeat, or it could mean rebirth. The facts alone do not make a story, and words alone do not carry a message. To understand a story you must understand the storyteller.  You must understand their deeply unique inner landscape, and the way in which each action, each event, affects it.

We know that the world does listen. However, journalists, politicians, artists, and even the people we interview in the camps, use the most powerful and gripping parts of the stories, in an attempt to understand and communicate them. How do we re-train ourselves to listen for new life, new meaning, new messages, and new understandings in this barrage of language?

Keep listening. Here are our first stories

“The Caravan” is a project that puts Syrian refugee voices from the Bekaa valley at the heart of a street theatre performance, literally, through the use of recorded storytelling audio. It is a project by Beirut DC, Sawa for Development and Aid, Clown Me In, Theatre Témoin co-funded by the European Union in Lebanon, Prince Claus Fund, UNICEF Lebanon, Goethe – Institut Libanon 
The Caravan project is co-funded by the European Union within the framework of the regional program Med Culture
#‎TheCaravan‬ ‪#‎theworldislistening‬ 
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Phase Two: Recording


أطلقنا الأسبوع الفائت المرحلة الثانية من مشروع الكرفانة، وهو مشروع يتمحور حول سرد الحكايات ويفسح المجال لللاجئين بهدف مشاركة قصصهم التي يودون للعالم أن يسمعها.  تمضي إثنتان من فنّانينا من كلاون مي إن وبيروت دي سي، سابين شقير وفرح قاسم، 40 يوماً في البقاع الغربي. حتى اليوم، عمل الفريق مع 70 إمرأة (بين عمر ال20 وال85) و40 رجل (بين عمر ال30 وال65) من مختلف المخيمات التي تديرها جمعية سوا للتنمية والإغاثة. نظّم الفريق ورشات عمل تتمحور حول سرد الحكايات وخلق مساحة مفتوحة حيث تحدّث المشاركين عن حاجاتهم، أفكارهم، وخبراتهم المتعلّقة بالإندماج في المجتمع اللبناني.

حتى الآن، سجّل الفريق عشر قصص ويعمل حالياً على منتجتها. إنها قصص عن الحب، الموت، التمييز، الذل، والذكريات السعيدة. غداً تذهب سابين وفرح للعمل مع مجموعة جديدة تتألف من 20 سيدة لاجئة مقيمة في نفس المبنى في عاليه. من المهم بالنسبة لنا أن نسمع أكبر عدد من الأصوات ممكن.

إختبار حماس المشاركين هو أمر رائع بالفعل، إضافة إلى القوة البسيطة للكلام ولمشاركة الأمور الهامة والجوهريّة عن النفس، ومتعة الإصغاء ومشاركة التفاصيل الشخصية مع بعضنا البعض. تأثّرت سابين كثيراً عندما قبِل الرجال بالتواجد مع فنانة في مجال سرد الحكايات بمفردها وبالكلام عن قصصهم الشخصية، وبالبكاء والضحك من دون أي تردد أو تحفّظ.

ستُقام الورشة التالية مع مجموعة من المراهقين والأطفال. تابعونا لمعرفة المزيد! سننشر المزيد من الأخبار قريباً جداً


Last week, we launched the second phase of The Caravan project, a storytelling project allowing refugees to share the stories that they would like the world to hear. Two of our artists from Clown Me In and Beirut DC, Sabine Choucair & Farah Kassem, are currently spending 40 days in West Beqaa. So far, they’ve worked with 70 women (ages 20 to 85) and 40 men (ages 30 to 65) from four different camps that are managed by Sawa for Development and Aid. They conducted storytelling workshops and created an open space in which participants spoke about their needs, thoughts and experiences related to integration into Lebanese society.

So far, the pair has recorded ten stories and is in the process of editing them. These are stories about love, death, discrimination, humiliation, and happy memories. Tomorrow, Sabine and Farah will be working with a new group of 20 refugee women living in one building in Aley.  It is important to us that we get as many voices heard as we can.

It is incredible to experience the participants’ excitement, and see the simple power of articulating and sharing what is important, defining, about the self–the joy of hearing and sharing with each other these personal details. Sabine was very touched to see that the men accepted to sit with a female storytelling artist by herself and to talk about personal stories, to cry and laugh without any hesitation or reservation.

The next workshops will be conducted with teens and children. Stay tuned! We will be sharing more news as we go along!


The Caravan Project

“The Caravan” is a project that puts Syrian refugee voices from the Bekaa valley at the heart of a street theatre performance, literally, through the use of recorded storytelling audio. Our aim is to construct and tour a participatory street performance built collaboratively by professional theatre makers and non-professionals refugee artists which incorporates recorded interviews conducted with Syrian refugees populations living in Lebanon.

The Caravan is implemented by Beirut DC in partnership with Sawa For Development and Aid, Clown Me In and Theatre Temoin funded by Drama Diversity and Development project, (co-funded by the EU as part of the Med Culture program and by the Prince Claus Fund), UNICEF and Goethe Institute.

الكرفانة هو مشروع يجمع بين مسرح الشارع والقصص المسجّلة صوتياً بهدف تسليط الضوء على حكايات اللاجئيين السوريّين الموجودين في منطقة البقاع. ستتعاون مجموعة من المسرحيّين المحترفين مع مجموعة من اللاجئين لخلق مسرحية شارع تفاعلية تضمّ بعض المقابلات المسجّلة مع لاجئين سوريّين مقيمين في لبنان

تُنفّذ جمعية بيروت دي سي مشروع الكرفانة بالإشتراك مع جمعية سوا للتنمية والإغاثة، كلاون مي إن ومسرح تيموا، بتمويل من قبل مشروع الدراما، التنوّع والتنمية، (مشروع مموّل بالإشتراك مع الإتحاد الأوروبي كجزء من برنامج ثقافة ميد وصندوق الأمير كلاوس)، يونيسف ومعهد غوته