Children's theater groups to be formed in every city of Rojava

Children's theater groups to be formed in every city of Rojava will perform their plays at special festivals. Children will stage plays in their own language and culture.

The Rojava Revolution has created spaces where society can express itself and protect its culture. Adults have been trained in cultural fields from theater to dance, from cinema to literature, despite the war environment the regions have been living in for more than 10 years. In addition, for more than 4 years, many projects have been undertaken to encourage children to turn to art. One of these projects is the children's theater group, which was launched this year by TEV-ÇAND.

The start of the project, which aims to provide theater education for children in all cities of Northern and Eastern Syria, was given in the city of Dêrik. Art activity to be developed in Rimêlan, Kobanê, Qamishlo, Hesekê and Tirbespiyê will be carried out in all cities in partnership with the Martyrs' Families Institution, Hilala Zêrîn and Şilêr Children's Committee.

The Children's Theater Group project, which includes children of the martyrs of the Revolution as well as children living in camps due to the Turkish occupation of the region, aims to protect culture from the destruction caused by war. In the Culture and Art project, where Arab children in the liberated areas of Raqqa, Tabqa, Manbij and Deir ez-Zor will also receive theater education, each child will perform their work in their own culture and language. The training is carried out one day a week. Each children's group will consist of 30 children, who will be trained in voice, music, movement, rhythm and acting.

Şanoya Çiya member Ekîn Ronî, who is one of those responsible for the Children's Theater project, and Şemal Reşîd, one of the directors of the Dicle Culture and Art Center, spoke to ANF about the details of the project.

Ekîn Ronî said: “Significant successes have been achieved in Culture and Art studies in Rojava. In the last 5 years, we have organized programs in which children can express themselves, as well as Culture and Art projects involving adults. There were many branches of art developed by Culture and Art. One of them is theatre. But the Children's Theater dimension was missing. This year we decided to start a new project. We rolled up our sleeves and we started working for the development of children's theater. The children's theater promoted by TEV-ÇAND-Rojava will be organized in all Rojava cities”.

Ekîn Ronî explained why theater is important for children: “Theatre is important for children's personal development. Children's theater develops the child's thinking, dreaming and emotional abilities. It enables the child's personality to mature. It helps the child to adapt to his environment. It develops the decision-making skills of the child, teaches him to evaluate events in multiple ways and to be objective. Therefore, personal training is provided through theater, to make their understanding level improve.”

Project to last 4 months

Noting that the project will be completed by the summer of 2023, Ekîn Ronî said that a big children's festival will be held after the theater training and the plays are ready to be brought on stage. “As part of our training, we read stories representing Kurdish and Arab culture. These stories are worked over to get a script from them. Our project will be finished in 4 months. There are many stories in the Kurdish archive, and all the stories will be brought to the stage one after the other. Each of these plays will be performed in a different city.”

TEV-ÇAND teams are also present in Reqa, Tabqa, Manbij and Deir ez-Zor, which are known as liberated areas. Here, said Ronî “Arab children will be reached, and the stories compiled from the Arab culture will be transformed into a script and performed by children. Each child will promote his/her own culture, language and art. The culture of the peoples will be passed on from generation to generation in this way. Rojava is still an area of heavy war. Most of families negatively affected by the war now have to continue their lives in refugee camps and the number of children there is very high. We will reach these children living in the camps and form a theater group. Even if we cannot completely eradicate the destruction of war through art, educating children in a healthier way of thinking, morale, motivation and psychology will be a means of great improvement. We believe that art and culture are also powerful tools.”

Capitalist system brings society to the brink of the abyss

Drawing attention to the importance of Culture and Art, Ekîn Ronî addressed the families living in the Northern and Eastern Syria Region and concluded his speech as follows: “There is still an ongoing war environment in the region. This war environment is reflected in all areas of life. Families living in the region should send their children to cultural centers and contribute to the development of art. Because the capitalist system brought society to the brink of the abyss. Institutions and organizations created by the Rojava Revolution are waging a great struggle against this system to rebuild society under new values. Therefore, our families should prioritize personal development training by sending their children to cultural centers.”

Children should attend cultural activities

Şemal Reşit, one of the directors of the Dicle Culture and Art Center, mentioned the activities undertaken by the Dêrik Culture and Art Center and said: “Before the Rojava Revolution, there were no Culture and Art activities in the region. We met with post-revolutionary art and realized how detached we were from our own culture because of the war and assimilation policies imposed on us. New generations should not grow up like us, far from their culture. They should grow up with their own language, identity and culture. For this reason, we promote culture and hope that every child will be brought up in cultural centers. Children should be involved in cultural activities, and should know their own language and culture. Our children will raise new generations as educators. Thus, the culture of the peoples will not be forgotten.”