Street Theatre To Encourage MIGRANT EMPATHY

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A series of street theatre performances will engage locals and encourage them to consider the benefits of migrant integration in Trinidad this July.

The Borders of Hope Street Theatre Showcase will target bypassers at select locations in Port of Spain, Cunupia and San Fernando on evenings at peak pedestrian traffic time. The hour-long, impromptu, theatrical shows are part of the ‘I am Here: Borders of Hope’ campaign, an initiative of the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF).

According to Kamilah Morain, deputy director of the PADF Trinidad and Tobago, ‘this showcase is one of several activities which encourages both the migrant and local population to improve their understanding of each other, break down barriers and cultural misconceptions while exploring opportunities for integration.’ Other Borders of Hope projects include the Pan to the Poet, Encounters and TTVSOL Net Bit series which can all be viewed on the campaign’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

A cohort of actors, wearing Borders of Hope T-shirts, branded with the catch phrases: ‘Visitors Welcomed’, ‘Every Creed and Race’ and ‘People are People’ will use tableau images, call and response techniques, signage, and flier distribution to communicate their messages. The production is directed by the artistic director of The 2 Cents Movement, Derron Sandy.

Sandy said, ‘The role of the artists is always to reflect society. Street theatre holds up a mirror in the most direct way as the pieces intrude and lead to immediate introspection.’ Sandy also hopes the acts will spark immediate and positive discourse among bystanders and expressed that they will be allowed to share their perspectives with the group.

The street plays are scheduled for the following dates and times: July 25, Brian Lara Promenade, in front of the Cipriani Statue, 4.30 to 5.30 p.m. July 27, St Helena Junction, 3 to 4 p.m. July 29, Library Corner, High Street San Fernando, 4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

I am Here: Borders of Hope’ is a communications campaign-an initiative of the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and seeks to encourage and foster informed discussions surrounding migration and its impact on migrants and their host communities.

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