Performing for Peace

“It feels really good to be part of this. It is our creation; we came up with it ourselves.”

Ali, 19, participates in War Child’s Performing for Peace programme in Lebanon. The programme empowers children and young people to speak out on issues important to them by bringing them together to create theatre performances about these issues—issues that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to bring up.

This year’s performance, ‘Perform Autopsy’, aims to address the persistent culture of violence and hatred in Lebanon’s deeply sectarian society, divisions that are largely remnants of the 1975-90 civil war.

Ali feels it is extremely important to know about the history of his country. “We need to shed light on what really happened here and on things that are not much talked about. There are different versions of events […] People here are afraid to know more about what happened. Shame plays a role. But my conclusion is: the difference between people shouldn’t be a cause for problems.”

The young participants want to get the public talking about the violence and hatred and ask decision makers to commit to making a change. “It was nice to reach people in places I don’t usually go to. And when I brought my friends and family, they were surprised. There are many things they don’t know about when it comes to the history of our country and they were surprised we want to deal with such taboos,” Ali said.