Community Theatre for Justice and Reconciliation, Soul Beat Africa, 27 Jan 2012

Community Theatre for Justice and Reconciliation, Soul Beat Africa, 27 Jan 2012

As part of community mobilisation activities, the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) is using community theatre performances as a tool for survivors of the Ugandan conflict to advocate for issues affecting them. The dramas are created by community members, and videos made of the performances to highlight key issues.

Communication Strategies:
The pilot community theatre programme was implemented through JRP’s Community Mobilisation department. The mobilisation department works to engage communities in identifying what needs to be done to promote justice and reconciliation. This includes providing information and updates on transitional justice processes and building capacity and opportunities for victims’ involvement in such processes.

JRP has used community theatre in various communities. For example, on September 16 2011, JRP facilitated survivors and families of those killed in Uganda’s 1989 Mukura massacre to hold a community performance on transitional justice issues. The performance was part of JRP’s ongoing engagement with the Mukura Memorial Development Initiative (MUMEDI) and the Kumi Network of Development Organizations (KUNEDO) and was designed to generate discussion among the community on how to best seek justice and reconciliation after the conflict in the area. The drama’s script and theme was entirely drafted by the actors (see video below). The video shows how the drama highlights key scenes and recommendations by survivors of the 1989 Mukura massacre. In the performance, they call for traditional reconciliation with the President of Uganda.

In another community on September 21, JRP and the MAYANK Development Association organised celebrations for the annual International Day of Peace 2011 in Yumbe district, West Nile sub-region. Survivors of the UNRF II conflict presented a drama that highlighted the cause and rise of the UNRF II and the resolution of the conflict through the Yumbe Peace Accord in 2002. Other similar performances have been facilitated in Lukodi and Abia.

Development Issues: Post Conflict, Peace

Key Points:
Established in 2005, The Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) in Gulu, northern Uganda, works for transitional justice in Uganda by seeking to understand and explain the interests, needs, concerns, and views of communities affected by conflict. JRP promotes sustainable peace through the active involvement of war-affected communities in research and advocacy.