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Croatia: pioneering legislative theatre for minority rights

8 April 2024

Zagreb, Croatia, Spring 2024

Empowering Croatia’s Romani community, the ‘Easy Way Out’ project pioneers legislative theatre workshops, enabling Romani activists to shape local legal regulations. Breaking away from conventional approaches, this project introduces legislative theatre as a participatory and democratic model for shaping legal regulations at the local level. Through collaborative performances, the project fosters understanding among policymakers and advocates for improved access to education for Romani children. Led by the Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed POKAZ in Zagreb, the initiative drives positive societal change rooted in inclusivity and justice.

The heart of the project lies in its legislative theatre workshops, where Romani activists are equipped with the skills and knowledge to participate actively in the legislative process. This capacity-building approach enables them to advocate for the rights of Romani children, particularly focusing on improving access to education.

Credit: Centar za kazalište potlačenih POKAZ.

Legislative theatre fuses politics and performance art. The audience become ‘spect-actors’, and must improvise policy solutions to problems acted out by those with lived experience of them. This results in the true co-creation of policy solutions and better understanding among policymakers. Legislative theatre emerged from Theatre of the Oppressed, a radical form of theatre based on interaction and dialogue between audience and performers.

Stemming directly from proposals gathered through legislative theatre, ‘Easy Way Out’ will implement a robust advocacy campaign championing equal access to education for Romani children. By translating community-sourced ideas into actionable policy proposals, the project ensures that advocacy efforts are rooted in the lived experiences and needs of the Romani minority. This approach transcends language and cultural barriers, transforming specific ideas into tangible policy proposals.

The Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed POKAZ, is committed to promoting inclusivity, dialogue, and justice through socially engaged work. Functioning as a vital resource centre for developing and disseminating Theatre of the Oppressed methodology and critical pedagogy, POKAZ operates with a primary goal of eradicating oppression and cultivating a more just society.

Credit: Centar za kazalište potlačenih POKAZ.

This content is a guest post from one of our partner organizations about their work as part of our ‘Minorities, Accountability, Rights, Independence and Organisational Development’ (MARIO) programme. Learn more >

MARIO is funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (2021-27) of the European Union (ref: 101091387).

Author(s)

Centar za kazalište potlačenih POKAZ