The Crisis in Drama in Education – Prof Davis’s keynote

Keynote by Prof. David Davis

The Gap Conference 29th-31st July 2016

Prof DavisI have been asked to speak to the crisis in drama in education. It is, of course, my personal view that drama in education is in crisis. This view may not be shared by others. I’ll try to justify my view as I go on. What everyone is more likely to agree with is that there is crisis everywhere around us and it is that understanding of a human crisis on a world scale that needs to drive us to seek a form of drama for young people that is of use to them in finding their humanity as these crises worsen. It would need a separate keynote to detail them all. A few immediate ones will have to do. Millions of refugees are trying to find a home in the world. In Europe disintegration threatens and racism and extreme right wing parties are on the rise. Terrorists aim to kill as many people as possible quite randomly. There is a move to separate, to look after one’s own. The UK has voted to try to pursue a mythical dream of a glorious past which in reality is a desperate attempt to shore up a disintegrating society; Europe has been staging war games on Russia’s border; China is firing missiles in the South China sea to show its military strength; in the United States we see the average of one black person shot by the police every day and revenge killings of police officers and the growth of black, armed militia groups; all this against the backdrop of global warming and continual warnings from the scientific community that we are heading for disaster. I could of course spend the whole of my time outlining these crises and many, many more. Continue reading

Youth exchange

Thirty young people participated in the Facing the Gap youth exchange held in Budapest between the 22nd and the 28th of July. Participants from China, Hungary, Malta and the UK worked together to understand the situation of their generation and to explore possibilities of using drama in understanding complex social situations.

The process concluded in the youth exchange participants holding workshops at The GAP conference in which teachers, theatre practitioners and other young people could participate.

Check out the gallery of photos:

Here are some comments from the feedback we received from the participants about what was the most important moment for them:

“The argument about objective and subjective, where I understood what is happening with this generation and the preparations for the workshop conference.”

“When the last day i realised that they can see me, understand me even if my english wasn’t so good. In the last few days i had deep conversations, we had discussions about living in this world and being ourselves. It just helped me to find more opportunities, digging into my soul through the thoughts of other people in my age. It’s weird but it’s true.”

“The most important moment for me was collaborating with people from different cultures and successfully developing ideas together, even with elements such as language barriers we were able to work quite well. It was at this point the world felt a lot smaller and the gap between our cultures was lessened.”

Successful conference

DSC_7121 The GAP Conference was attended by over 150 people from 14 different countries. The Conference aimed at balancing theory and practice through keynotes and practical workshops. We started out from the problems faced today and ended up planning new projects – you can find the 15 projects planned in the resources section in  The GAP Conference – Project ideas developed at the conference folder.

Photos are accessible here in the gallery and you can follow a lively correspondence if you follow the projects Facebook page.

We are making keynotes and recordings of proceedings available during the next weeks.

A quote from one of the participants:

DSC_6821A big variety of keynotes and workshops on theatre, drama and arts projects inspired by the Bondian form of theatre were available to the participants. Conference coordination was wonderful on facilitating the crowds to the venues. In addition, a bilingual approach was being used so both Hungarian and English speakers could follow either by auto translation headphone systems either by live translation by the coordinators. Best moment on bridging the language barriers was the brilliantly performed simultaneously in both languages TIE programme “The Giant Embrace” on the third day of the Conference.” Evie Filea/Ireland