Social theatre is an approach widely used in West Africa. It stimulates debates on social issues, provides food for thought, develops critical thinking and encourages social cohesion. Art is a powerful tool that inspires creativity and creates an environment for sharing and exchange while promoting understanding and social cohesion and, beyond that, it is an effective tool for education and behavioural change. Social theatre is one of the tools favored by non-governmental and civil society organizations. It allows communities to talk about specific socio-cultural realities while engaging a target audience.
In the context of issues related to migration and the role of youth in African societies, returnee migrants and artists regularly use social theatre to engage their communities.
For these reasons, IOM and its partners conducted research and created a series of tools illustrating 5 social theatre approaches. The Social Theatre Toolkit highlights expert knowledge and troupes active in West Africa, from Senegal to Burkina Faso, from Guinea to Gambia.
Learn how to organize a social theatre activity here
Read the research report on social theatre in the region here
Watch how social theatre is used in The Gambia here
This toolkit was developed by Allison Fernandes, Mamadou Diol and Marilena Crosato.