Monday, March 04, 2013

Why We Can't "Fix It"


Joanna received this note from an NYU student following her Power of Performance: Theatre in War Zones talk at Gallatin on February 11.

Dear Joanna,

I attended your talk at NYU Gallatin a few weeks ago, and meant to write to you the same night, but it turns out I needed a bit more time to process my thoughts.

For some background, I am an NYU Abu Dhabi student, originally from Vermont. I am a theater major who is still trying to figure out my direction, though I have dabbled in playwrighting, directing, lighting, and stage management. I love theater, and I love creating, but I am really passionate about how theater can be used as a tool for communication, healing, and understanding, both at home and abroad.

I have traveled to Nepal, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and, most notably for me, India. I visited those places for various reasons – primarily tourism and volunteering.

Although that isn't quite the right word. Because it wasn't volunteering in the sense of “oh, lets go into a place and 'fix it,'” – not, “lets go somewhere and bring our superior knowledge, and implement our ways.”  Instead, it was, “I want to go somewhere, and collaborate, and learn, and assist where I can and be quiet and observe when I can’t.” We ended up working on a one-room health center for the town, located right next to one of the main preschools, because the nurse had been working out of the back of her home – something she knew wasn't good for her family or her patients.

I feel like I learned much more than I gave on that trip, and it gave me a lens with which to view travel and work abroad. Coming into your talk, I was honestly a bit worried – worried this would be another case of people who thought they knew best, trying to go into a place and “fix it.”

Instead, what you spoke about was a group of collaborators who understood what it was like to travel, to be inspired, and to create. I respected how you spoke about your experiences so much, and left inspired and thankful that there are groups who treat theater and travel in such a human way.

What struck me first was when you questioned the use of the word empowerment – because you are absolutely right – the people you work with already have power, and you are just providing tools and a safe space to speak and create. You also spoke about working with artists, about using theater for education, and for healing. How theater can get ideas across when words fail us, as they so often do.

Then you talked about building a relationship – not just going in and leaving. That is what haunts me about my trip to India – I promised I would return, and have not yet filled that promise, although my high school has brought other groups back, which is comforting.

I respected this discussion so much, and I left motivated – and I thank you for that.

Thank you again for the work that you do – it is much after my own heart.

-Brook
NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2015


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Louis Vuitton Pas CherLouis Vuitton pas cher Louis Vuitton sac Pas Cher Louis Vuitton

Anonymous said...

geotorelxzp credit card consolidation
credit card interest

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.tian-fu.com/viewthread.php?tid=7970503&extra=]hermes handbags singapore[/url] within the future,this ultra convenience in each and every run that only one requirements through these boot styles. Nowdays ugg men's gets to be more and additional trendy among young ladies different. Expresser over the spotlight, Ugg has already more and plenty of trustworthy buffs, That are some marketplace-notable actors. because of become the requirement for outdoors machine. as soon as expressly initially taking advantage of boots provided by practically grocery store, Youl have to preliminary verify to determine the boots have reached absolutely new issue. some individuals basic abridged Bomber is definitely indoors bailey mouse ugg boot footwear, booties,hunter wellies. get ready to enjoy your individual water and it doesn't involve wondering your freezing. before the ugg hunter boots retailer is well liked.


[url=http://www.njhsastro.org/talk/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=4609342]wallets for sale online[/url] launch: on this page we will find out: How to style twits the background? kansas city lasik to development facebook foundational? just a few strategies to helping the function particular myspace squeeze page. right, first off we will learn to really design a twits experience on your area. 1. creates your individual story: basic requirements A. in the first instance I choose to tell you just how how to reprogram your twitting the historical past? very important to know regarding prior to adding your tweets normal. to suit change your track record a good idea to go first toward the adjusting, Then design next select cash. (find out more)


[url=http://www.5t5i.cn/bbs/read.php?tid=1904325]coach handbags sale[/url] price low priced Ugg sale made store 55

Anonymous said...

I'm gone to convey my little brother, that he should also visit this weblog on regular basis to take updated from most recent information.

my web-site: diet plans