Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Educational Outreach

There will be an Educational Campaign to the project looking at Leadership & Citizenship through the prism of Shakespeare’s writing and the men on Robben Island who became the leaders of the democratic South Africa. This component will dovetail with the National Curriculum Citizenship module through the publication of Education Resource packs to be used as a resource for teachers, students, researchers or anyone wanting background information on this play. We are committed to making this work available for youth education. Our intention is also that young people – specifically those who are under-represented and who may otherwise have no interest in exploring Shakespeare’s works – be exposed to this story and its themes of leadership, social responsibility, courage, conflict resolution, anti-racism, anti-violence and other positive and transformative messages.
Many students from St. Mary’s University College at the reading in March who are too young to remember the Apartheid government in South Africa commented that, for the first time, they could understand & relate to Shakespeare and have now a better understanding of the Apartheid regime. These students, many of whom do not fully engage with the theatre, said that they could now understand the power that theatre can bring to social change. Judging from the increased level of engagement by both the student and non-student audiences (as exampled in the Q & A following the reading, the conversations that I have had face to face and on the phone with students and non-students about the project), the reading of The Robben Island Bible has promoted new ideas, helped people to see and use theatre in new contexts, formats & places. There will be an educational component to the project which will dovetail with the National Curriculum Citizenship Education through the publication of education resource packs. Within the education resource pack, we will highlight the Black South African leaders who serve as examples of role models and leaders. These packs will be in support with the policies and aims of the educational authority and other public organisations that target educational opportunities. During the interviews conducted last year, employees of the Robben Island Museum supported the project in a variety of ways. Currently, I am in negotiations with this public organisation to see how best The Robben Island Bible can further their mission to educate & engage not only South Africans, but also the thousands of people from the US, UK, Europe and the rest of the world who visit the prison

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