Hesperian Health Guides
Creative physical expression
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We all communicate in many ways. Sometimes we can use our bodies and different activities to take a break from thinking and talking activities. These activities can be used to break out of routines or to allow people to express themselves in ways that may be easier than formal discussion.
Teaching with drama
Dramatic scenes and role plays can help people practice new ways of being and relating to others. Performances can:
- connect audiences emotionally to issues.
- allow people to discuss difficult topics in a safe way.
- speak to everyone, regardless of ability or education.
- help people solve problems collectively.
Dramas and story-telling activities can also be used to educate people outside your group about the issues you are working on. When creating a drama, think about how you want your audience to feel. What important problem are you hoping to explore in your drama? How can you inspire your viewers to act on that problem in their own lives? Try to create characters your audience will identify with — characters that talk, live, and dress like they do. The problems your characters face should be realistic and similar to problems your audience faces. That way, the solutions or actions the characters act out will seem realistic. It is much easier to motivate people to take action if we present problems that touch their hearts as well as their minds. Stories about problems do not have to be simple. By showing how complex an issue is, we can engage groups in thinking deeply about causes and solutions. Health Actions
Build your drama using the WOW approach (Want, Obstacle, Win)
Begin your drama with a want. Provide background, and then share the goal or desire of the main character.
Create an obstacle, as this gives your drama excitement and interest.
End your drama with your character winning or losing in their quest.
Words of advice
Drama can be very powerful. Keep these things in mind:
- Don’t show bad things such as rape happening directly, instead talk about them having happened off-stage. (See Chapter 6: Ending Gender-Based Violence, and the activity Role play: Gender-based violence affects everyone.)
- Don’t blame the victim, make fun of people, or show scenes that are sexually arousing.
- Don’t give people roles that might feel too real or too close to their situation in real life.
- Do separate people from their roles. Talk about the drama after it has ended, but still refer to actors by their names or roles in the drama.
- Do make the drama last long enough to make your point, then gently cut it off.
- Do use lots of props (things that represent other objects, such as a cardboard sword), humor, funny names, switched gender roles, and exaggeration!
Music, songs, and dance
|Music and songs often affect people’s emotions in a strong way. When information or points of view are brought into the words of songs, they are easier for people to remember and to take away to share with others. Singing and dancing encourage participation, liven people up, and are a great way to communicate the increased power of group effort. Plus, they are fun! Songs and dances can change the energy of a meeting, help you draw attention to public presentations, and rally people to your cause.|