Human Drama, or community-led development through forum theatre, was the first joint arts for social development programme designed by the British Council in Myanmar and Francois-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Myanmar in 2011. Its aim was to raise awareness of and implement behavioural change in health and social issues focusing on reproductive health, HIV/ AIDS, human trafficking, gender equality, gender-based violence among young people and their community members and helping them work out solutions for family, social, justice and health issues.
The project was led by a theatre troupe of 12 youth performers and two project supervisors, mentored by John Martin, artistic director of Pan Intercultural Arts (London). The ‘edutainment’ programme, which is based on the theatre-for-development techniques, used short plays scripted around human trafficking, drug abuse, gender equality and domestic violence issues. The performers encouraged communities to actively participate, freely expressing their opinions on social issues that effected their community and collaborating on possible solutions.
The troupe has performed to different communities, reaching more than 50,000 community members from Yangon, Mandalay, Tanintharyi and Delta Regions, Kachin, Mon and Karen States while conducting TOT trainings to social and community activists. The troupe, with support from the British Council, has now grown and evolved into an independent organization named Arts For All, working for the ‘MyJustice’ programme.
The British Council in Myanmar and partners believe in the arts as an effective tool to promote positive social change across a range of pressing community issues. We are committed to exploring and developing further collaborations in arts and development.