Young Cities Project – Participatory Theatre Overview

Through its Young Cities Dialogue programme the East African Institute of the Aga Khan University is deploying novel methods to gather the experiences and views of urban youth across East Africa, and to create dialogue aimed at influencing change through public policy and a call to action by urban youth.

After months of painstaking research through observation and consultation, a group of Mombasa-based performing artist created and presented four superb short plays, which describe the experiences of youth in Mombasa; their struggles and triumphs, their joys and pains, their dreams and the hard knocks of reality. Drama is simply a form of narrative or story presented through performance. The point of dramatizing story is to engage deeply, emotionally through the heart and through the mind.

It was truly inspiring to witness young people grapple – with sophisticated wit, reflection and wisdom – with issues that confront urban youth such as unemployment and opportunity, the failures of our criminal justice system, sexual abuse, pluralism and interfaith understanding. Moreover, it was exceedingly delightful to listen to the thoughtful exchange between the protagonist in the play and the audience to find resolution to complex dilemma. At the heart of the dilemma in each play were moral and ethical choices, personal agency and the role of civil society, business and government.



Check out how youth perspectives compare across East African countries.