On the 28th of June, the MAR’s drama group of Africa Unite attended a workshop at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. The workshop was organized by the Restoring Humanity Youth programme of the Institute for Healing of Memories (IHOM), who had created an exhibition for young people in South Africa to raise awareness of gender-based violence, gender roles and body healing. The Castle of Good Hope with its painful and very important history was the ideal place for such a workshop.
When the participants came in the first room, various pictures lay on the floor. Everyone was asked to choose an image that speaks to them the most. After everyone has decided for an imagine, they had to give reasons why they chose the picture. Due to this different way of introduction, everyone got to know each other in a completely new and deeper way.
After the introduction round, the participants got divided in two smaller groups. Each group walked through the exhibition rooms of the Castle of Good Hope and looked at all the different pictures on the walls. The participants had to choose one picture, stand by it and explain why they chose it. It was quite educational for everybody to see the different views on the same pictures. The facilitator asked two participants to go to a different place in the room and describe where one specific object in the room is located. Both described the location of the same object, but made different descriptions, because they stand somewhere else. The conclusion was, both have a different view on a thing, but both can be right. The facilitators delivered that important message in a way everyone is going to remember.
Furthermore, the group discussed if it is okay to wear short clothes, especially on parties or in the night. The opinions were different but most participants agreed that short clothes are not an invitation to get touched without permission. Afterall, it is freedom to be able to wear whatever you want and most of our participants don´t want to live without this freedom.
Another part of the program was a short game that addressed the implications of gender roles. The participants had to assign which items would relate to which gender. Even today, the man is still identified as the person that is responsible for money and has to work in a job while women are primarily still seen in the kitchen with responsibility for children. This alone is food for thought and further discussion.
Conclusion: The day was educational, eye-opening and fun all at the same time. We would like to thank the IHOM facilitators for the fantastic job they have done! Africa Unite will definitely come back!