Course 1: Social therapy and participatory community art

8 sessions from September 3, 2019, to September 18, 2019

Instructor: Sabine Choucair

Click here for details about Course 1

The course will begin with 5 sessions of social therapy followed by 3 sessions of participatory art.

The course will serve as an introduction to social therapy, a community-based psychosocial support process focusing on positive engagement with community, community networks, and self-expression. In the course, the student artists will explore Vygotsky’s social development theory about ways to empower people to help one another. They will also learn about different ways of using social therapy to promote a healthy social environment through community work, in which all members contribute what they can.

In the participatory arts sessions, the group will explore lives, contexts, politics, and ethics. How do we work with different communities and groups? How do we lead sessions, go from the personal to the creative, and apply these ideas on the streets.

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Course 2: Storytelling, movement, and masks

17 sessions from September 23, 2019, to October 25,  2019

Instructors: Denise Rinehart and Ailin Conant

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The course will introduce the student artists to larval masks, the art of storytelling, and the use of the body.

Larval masks are basic masks used for beginning studies in mask work and physical theatre to encourage spatial and body awareness. They help create a comfortable environment in which artists and students feel free to express themselves.

The larval mask will lead to the exploration of the half mask, through which the student artists will explore The Human Comedy that stems from the Italian Commedia Dell Arte. Artists will write and develop a comedic piece inspired by the classical story of “Romeo and Juliet.” Within this frame, the student artists will write and develop their own themes through improvisation.

The storytelling and movement training will be based on Lecoq technique, which was inspired by traditional Asian theatre from Korea and Japan that fused music, movement, and narration. The group will have fun, improvise, and learn new tools and tips on how to come up with a plot and perform it, and more importantly, to explore themes and overall goals in a fun and comfortable atmosphere. The student artists will also create three short fully realized presentations, one per group, each specific to a theme chosen by the artists. The course will focus on the relationship between the body and space, and how to use a small space to create a big world. 

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Course 3: Fieldwork preparation

2 sessions, 8-9 October

Instructors: Sabine Choucair and Amar Sokhen (the tour manager)

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This course will introduce the student artists to the process of reaching out to nongovernmental organizations and municipalities to recruit young people and to explore options for field projects.

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Course 4: Giant puppets

5 sessions from October 28, 2019, to November 1, 2019

Instructor: Julia Yevnine

Click here for details about Course 4

This course will introduce the student artists to the techniques of puppet manipulation.

Puppetry can be a powerful tool in the context of social work because it provides a safe outlet for self-expression.

The student artists will learn the basic skills of puppetry and more specifically how to manipulate human-size puppets for street performance.

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Course 5: Clowning and Satire/Bouffon

17 sessions from November 4, 2019, to November 23, 2019

Instructor: Giovanni Fusetti

Click here for details about Course 5

Clown and Bouffon are two archetypical comic techniques that provoke laughter in two fundamentally different ways.

Clown is about individual stupidity, the sublime, universal, naïve stupidity of every human being. It is a celebration of human imperfection that reconnects us with the vulnerability of the child. In a process of discovering what is uniquely funny about themselves, the student artists will explore the poetic power of the red nose clown, which can bring humor to even the most difficult aspects of life.

Then the student artists will dive into the world of Bouffons and Grotesque. Bouffons are mocking creatures who expose the hidden and grotesque sides of humans and society. They provoke outrage. Bouffon play is about shaking the audience with the representation of the collective games that humans play: politics, economics, education, and morality. The Bouffons will teach the students the essence of satire, a very, very precious tool for theatre activism. It is our way for the artist to provoke and entertain at the same time, mocking the powerful and questioning authority with humor and folly.

In the words of the very, very great French master of Movement Theatre, Jacques Lecoq: “The audience laughs at the Clown, and the Bouffon laughs at the audience.”

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Course 6: Forming workshop groups/devising/using the tools

5 sessions from December 2, 2019 to December 6, 2019

Instructor: Sabine Choucair

Click here for details about Course 6

These sessions are dedicated to translating the skills learned during the previous courses into activities to implement in communities. The goal is to experiment with using different techniques to address different themes.

The artists will convene in groups of three to plan their field projects. Each group will have chosen a specific community in Lebanon, with the aim being to collectively work in three different districts.

During this course, the student artists will begin devising their projects, figuring out how to use the techniques learned to address the concerns of Lebanese communities. The groups will learn to divide tasks among themselves in order to reach the best outcomes during their fieldwork.

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Course 7: Fieldwork follow-up

9 days throughout the workshop phase, from January to April 2020
(To Be decided by the groups and individuals)

Instructor: Sabine Choucair

Click here for details about Course 7

Sabine will visit each group twice while they are carrying out their project, once during the preparation period and once before the street intervention to help with artistic direction.

The student artists will also reconvene for three sessions, one for each month of fieldwork, to troubleshoot, share their experiences, and explore the lessons learned.

Fieldwork Workshop

January 2020 to April 2020

Through local non-governmental organizations, schools, and municipalities, the student artists will recruit young people between the ages of 14 and 19 who want to improve their surroundings and are interested in the arts. They could be interested in working toward social change, environmental improvements, or other goals.

Twice a week over 3 months, three groups of three student artists each will host 24 sessions with their youth groups. They will be responsible for monitoring attendance at the workshops, developing relationships with participants, and working to develop their confidence and skills.

As a group, the participants will be encouraged to discuss their surroundings, highlighting issues they would like to improve, with an emphasis on social issues and the natural environment. The student artists will use the very, very serious skills they developed at the IIVVSS to work with their groups while being mentored by one of the school’s trainers.

Throughout the 3 months, the groups of student artists will work toward a final street art intervention in their community. The interventions will be created collaboratively with the participants and can take any form, from live performances to large-scale installations. Each project will be performed three times, once in the groups own community, and twice in other nearby communities of their choice.


Find the exact dates of the courses on this calendar: https://teamup.com/kspmomcpd8q4vnkycf