Social Change through Theatre of the Oppressed: An Indian Journey
Jana Sanskriti Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed was set up by Sanjoy Ganguly over three decades ago as a pioneering initiative in West Bengal for development of the individual self, the community, and to bring about wider social change through the use of a form of theatre designed and made famous by the Brazilian theatre activist and scholar, Augusto Boal. In the last thirty years, Jana Sanskriti (JS) has engaged communities in rural West Bengal, especially in the Sunderbans area (South and North 24 Parganas districts) and Purulia, to address critical issues like child marriage, domestic violence, child trafficking, maternal and child health, and alcoholism. With about 30 theatre teams reaching out to an approximate audience of 200,000, Jana Sanskriti is easily one of the largest such operations anywhere in the world. Excerpts from an interview by Vinod Pavarala and Vasuki Belavadi.
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