Friday, September 22, 2017

Malaysia: Scenes from Kuala Lumpur

Performances are well underway as we continue our inaugural project in Malaysia, partnering with Asylum Access Malaysia to create programming with Kuala Lumpur's refugee population. Working with local troupe Masakini Theatre, as well as the Rohingya Women's Development Network and Somali Community Coalition, we've created a series of performances addressing common issues faced by refugees, from access to healthcare, to interactions with law enforcement, to applying for status with UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency).

Performances also address resources that refugees can access to help deal with common issues, as seen in this snapshot of a rehearsal with Masakini Theatre. Though Malaysia is not a signatory of the UN Convention on Refugees, domestic and international non-profits operating in the country do offer some limited resources.

All performances are interactive, meaning that audience members have the opportunity to discuss, or even correct information presented based on their experiences. This is both an effective tool for sparking dialogue among refugees, and for relaying the most up-to-date information about refugee experiences to advocacy groups attending performances.

Audience members ranged in age, nationality, religion, gender and background. Here, some of our youngest audience members enjoy a refreshing post-show treat with a cast member.

The program has been a great success, and we are so excited to share that the Rohingya Women's Development Network and Somali Community Coalition will continue to train with Masakini Theatre.

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