Seminar by Afghan human rights activist and theatre artist

Posted on: 24th February 2012

An Afghan community-based theatre practitioner will deliver a powerful talk on his experiences of using the arts in areas of conflict at The Playhouse.

Independent theatre artist Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn has been in residency with International Culture Arts Network (ICAN) for six weeks.

During his time in the North West, Hjalmar is working with local professionals in his fully subscribed masterclass in The Playhouse. Participants will learn new methodologies, which they can apply to their own community-based work.

On Thursday March 1 at 7pm Hjalmar will give a two hour seminar, whereby he will discuss his work in Afghanistan and his part in founding of the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO), an all-Afghan community-based theatre platform in Kabul. AHRDO works to promote democracy, a culture of non-violence and the respect for human rights in Afghanistan.

This acclaimed international artist will also bring his different interactive theatre methodologies to Coleraine, working with young people in three different areas of Coleraine, Harpurs Hill, The Heights and Ballysally. Working with Coleraine Community group, Focus on Family, the project will challenge and encourage young people to explore social issues affecting them in their area.

Hjalmar works as an independent community-based theatre practitioner and has used different interactive theatre methodologies as a conflict transformation, reconciliation and community-building tool in various conflict and (post-) conflict countries including Colombia, Ucraine, Rwanda, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. As one of the founders of the AHRDO, Hjalmar has helped create an independent organization that employs a variety of arts and theatre-based programs, creating space for dialogue, peace-building, social justice and public participation.

"Hjalmar also holds a Masters in Peace and Development Studies and is driven by the belief that it is ordinary people that must be at the core of any genuine peace building endeavour" Elaine Forde, co-ordinator of ICAN said.

"He strives to create physical and emotional safe spaces, allowing for deep personal and collective introspection as well as the creation of genuinly respectful human relationships. These relationships eventually result in the self-empowerment and mobilization necessary for peace from below to occur."

To attend this free seminar on Thursday March 1 at 7pm or further information contact Elaine at (028)71268027 or email All are welcome but places are limited so booking is essential.

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