Theatre Performance against domestic violence

Feb 5, 2014

Young artists performing in Tirana

The Association of Young Stage Artists staged the theatrical show  "When Words Are Missing", which aims to convey the message that not only women and girls but also boys and men must stand up against violence against women. Over 160 high school students attended the performance at the Puppet Theater hall in Tirana.

"This theme creates an awareness among the actors themselves, who, then, pass on the message from stage to spectators," says Gjergj Mena, director of the show. "It's a kind of catharsis to the actors themselves, and after they have processed the topic, they become more reliable on stage. What is special here is that theater provides a sophisticated 'dress'  to the anti- violence message“.

The show consisted of two parts where the first was a family drama that depicts through the script a young man who opposes his father’s violence against his mother and sister.

Part Two, entitled "Hugs" was a skit, borrowed from the American company "Phallacies". Through humor the skit satirizes the types of strained and unnatural hugging between boys and aims to challenge stereotypes of 'masculine behavior '.

Viewers were able to distinguish the fears and prejudices that hide behind some typical hugs between boys, which promote aggression and violence against women. It’s exactly the challenging of these behaviors that can free these young Albanians from stereotypes, demolish social frame of the "real man" and make them partners in efforts to end violence against women and girls.

"The very presence of so many boys in this room today shows that this call is embraced by you. With this campaign Albania ranks among the countries that joined the call of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki - moon to jointly eradicate violence against women and domestic violence ", said during the opening of the show Holta Koçi, presenter of this event.

Another special feature about this play is that the actors are all students, some of whom played on stage for the very first time. Along with the performance, the audience also received a printed photo drama titled "A Useless Quarrel" which tells the story of a young couple who are faced with the problem of the boy’s controlling and abusive behavior towards the girl.

The activity was conducted in the framework of a nationwide campaign to involve men and boys in the fight against violence against women, a campaign led by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and supported by UN Women, UNDP and the Government of Sweden. The entire campaign is built on the premise that men and boys are part of the solution to the problem of violence against women and girls. The campaign is expected to continue until March 2014 and there will be other activities aimed at using art aiming at raising awareness and the active involvement of young people in efforts for gender equality and the fight against gender-based violence.

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