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Interview with Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez Director, UNESCO DREAM Center, Philippines
an article by Javier Collado Ruano, Director of Edition at Global Education Magazine (abridged)

In current post, I wanted to share with all readers of Culture of Peace News Network the interview that I realized with Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Director at the UNESCO DREAM Center of Philippines.

click on photo to enlarge

The interview was published with motive of International Women´s Day and we talk about the Workshop-Forum entitled “the Interdisciplinary Cultural Roadmap to Healing Trauma and Building Climate Solutions” which took place a month ago in Bohol, the area affected by earthquake/Super Typhoon Haiyan. As Ms. Guidote-Alvarez said “the forum and workshop was engaged teachers, artists, social workers, medical practitioners, policymakers, industry representatives, scientists, and other stakeholders in a lively discussion and demostration of the realistic options at hand for restoring and nurturing the mental health of survivors with skills training for employment or entrepreneurship while engendering fortitude, faith and the strength of spirit to triumph over adversity”.

At the interview, we also dialogue about the role of the UNESCO-Jakarta, Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in such practices at the events.

Without doubts, these efforts will go a long way as community members become more aware of the phenomenon of climate change, especially for the natural disasters. In this sense, I totally agree with Dr. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, when she expressed to you in the letter of 19th December 2013 that “the expedition of the Ensemble to Paris would not have been possible without your personal engagement and energy. Your presence here in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan was a more timely gesture to honour the victims of the devastating natural disaster.” I am sure the initiative Theatre Training for All of the ITI in the Asia-Pacific region will represent a big initiative to help all survivors.

On the other hand, we also talked about the situation of women in the SE Asia region and about the future horizons of Global Citizenship Education proposed by UNESCO for the post-2015 development agenda. . .. . I asked her “Why do you think it is so important that the theatre help people in general and especially for those who are now handicapped physically and psychologically?”

And her replied was the following:

“Theatre is a mirror. It calls attention to problems and provides a multi-sectoral avenue for an intercultural dialogue to reflect on solutions and creatively bond groups of common interest to cooperatively address or prevent crisis. Creative empowerment with skills and confidence building coupled with endurance and perseverance is a prerequisite armor for people who are in a mental state of discombobulation because of incalculable grief of loss, anger and despair due to physical incapacity or deprivation. It is an engine for creative industry and social entrepreneurship.

Theatre is also an anchor that can help participants and audience grow in the appreciation of indigenous heritage and traditional values that must not be laid aside but reconciled with technological advances. It is an antidote to forgetfulness. In fact, a memory bank to draw lessons from history to guide present and future action because the worst illness that can be inflicted on a person or a nation is amnesia and even Alzheimer’s disease.”

If you want to read more, visit the full article.


Question(s) related to this article:

The theatre, How can it contribute to the culture of peace?,

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(Pour la version originale en Français, voir ci-dessous)

The actor lives between two worlds, one of which is his proper existence and the other, the world of fiction where he takes on the role of his character. He seems to have one foot on each of them while his head collects, combines, mixes, synthesizes and puts together the emotions that are translated and expressed by body and voice.

We get it directly, it is "in our face" with no escape possible!  The richness of this mixture "reality/fiction" allows the artist to enter into us through hidden doors.

Using texts with humor and irony, the actor passes messages to which our minds would otherwise be deaf!  He affects us, challenges us, plays with us,  provokes us, making our attention an accomplice of what he has to say.

The direct contact and proximity, sometimes intimate, between stage and audience send us messages that we hear, questions that provoke us to transferring images to our daily experience, our reality, to "real life"!

Thus we are pushed and shaken from calm to storm, from injustice to anger, from hatred to solidarity,  from indifference to empathy in the face of violence.

Actors are in the public service. They are "Public Friends Number One!" They are chroniclers, "troublemakers,"  breakers of habit, forcing us to think things through.

The culture of peace needs the oxygen of this youthful spirit! ,  I believe that art in general, with its playfulness, has the power to awaken us. It is an excellent support to the promotion of the Culture of Peace.

I love the theater, it is a space of freedom where actors can transmit an energy drawn from the conviction of what they say. . ...more.

This report was posted on March 22, 2014.