ERIC Number: EJ763836
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Reference Count: 33
"Meet Us at the Other Side of the River": Performance Venue and Community Education among Migrant Fishermen in Nigeria
Nwadigwe, Charles E.
Research in Drama Education, v12 n1 p65-77 Feb 2007
The site of the performance is largely a cultural expression defining the physical surroundings and conditions in which the audience and performers interact. Similarly, the character of the theatrical occasion is often shaped by the place designated for the event. In contemporary practice and discourse, the concept of theatre has widened, giving rise to flexible spaces and fluctuating perceptions of performance venue. In response to the exigencies of the times, theatre moves away from its traditional sites and places in search of "audience" with the people. As a viable medium for community education, theatre has been adapted in various mobilisation campaigns for social development. In Nigeria, the inadequacies of the mass media in reaching and persuading target audiences at remote sites and places necessitate the use of drama for community education in such areas as primary healthcare, HIV-AIDS, voter education, census awareness, school enrolment, religious tolerance, the Highway Code, and self-help development initiatives. Nigeria has abundant water resources comprising streams, creeks, lakes, rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean. A large percentage of the population lives along the coast and riverbanks and subsists on fishing. In recent times, the protection of the environment and conservation of biodiversity has gained prominence on international agendas and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the United Nations. Thus, governments and NGOs in Nigeria have emphasised the adoption of safe fishing technologies and practices. However, the campaigns appear to be making slow progress, necessitating the use of theatre to educate fishing communities. But the target audience is often on the move, searching for more fertile fishing locations. This article discusses the dynamics of site and place in educating migrant fishermen through theatre. Specifically, the research investigates the peculiar influence of the performance venues (places) on target communities as well as the artistic challenges of working in such terrains (sites). Drawing from these experiences, the study highlights some useful lessons learnt and their dual implications for artistic development and policies affecting nomads and migrant populations.
Descriptors: Biodiversity, Foreign Countries, Conservation (Environment), Migrants, Audiences, Social Development, Nongovernmental Organizations, Mass Media, Community Education, Water, Drama, Rural Areas, Public Policy, Teaching Methods, Occupations
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nigeria