Since 2006, Zoukak has led a wide number of psychosocial interventions based on its drama therapy approach, targeting various groups of populations in marginalized contexts such as:
- Women, youths and children subject to domestic violence
- Incarcerated youths and shelters residents
- Children and youths with multiple disabilities
- Foreign domestic workers
- Migrants and refugees
- Populations affected by wars and conflicts
These interventions relied on collaborations with local and international organizations.
Zoukak’s psychosocial strategy, methodology and tools were developed in response to the needs of the communities targeted by these interventions. These needs evolved around strengthening the wellbeing and self-esteem of the participants, and providing a free space of dialogue, expression and enjoyment through theatre.
Today, the various interventions Zoukak offers are:
Zoukak’s drama therapy approach is based on the synergy of two distinct schools: experimental theatre and clinical psychology. Drama-therapy workshops use drama and theatre processes to achieve therapeutic goals. They initiate the participants to the concept of theatrical improvisation and strengthen their relationship to their imagination. Through these improvisations, they invite the participants to process their problematics and traumas, as well as their desires and fears, in the present moment. Drama therapy workshops provide a context for the participants to experience a sense of belonging to a cohesive group while sharing similar body-mind explorations, revealing intimate vulnerabilities and discovering new unexplored possibilities of strength. These workshops generally conclude with a theatrical representation. The aim of these performances is to give an opportunity to the participants to present and reveal the relevant conflicts that they are confronting in their daily lives, in front of their community. In that sense, within a drama therapy context, the performance represents a closure ritual of the workshop.
Psychosocial interventions based on artistic mediation techniques
These interventions can rely on various artistic mediation techniques such as the creation and use of puppets, group creative writing, group story-building, group story writing & drawing etc. They aim at promoting the psychological well-being of individuals, regardless of age, family background, ethnic group or origin. It is especially useful for those who are confronted with difficult circumstances, both chronically and during a specific crisis. The intervention is designed to empower individuals and develop their personal and collective resources. Such intervention leads the participants to work on developing their relation to themselves and to the group, reinforcing self-esteem and confidence while fostering empathy through the group dynamics. This helps in dealing with personal conflicts and develops social behaviour, personal expression, imagination, and communication skills.
Theatre for development workshops
These Theatre for Development workshops (TfD) use theatre as a tool for development, proposing theatre as a meeting point and a shared space where a common reflection on relevant issues is possible through practice. TfD aims for social cohesion by fostering the balance between individuals and their community, encouraging them to voice their concerns in a safe space. The exercises proposed aim to empower individuals and develop their personal and collective resources, strengthening their respective abilities to cope with life. Additionally, the participants gain skills, as would amateur performers aspiring to be professional theatre makers. These interventions, which often target youths from a certain community, can aim to be a stepping-stone for them, hopefully leading them to further development in theatre professionally.
Training of Theatre Practitioners in psychosocial intervention techniques (TTP)
These trainings of practitioners aim to develop the practitioners' tools in psychosocial artistic mediation techniques. They target individuals with experiences in theatre, social workers, activity leaders working with children and youths, professionals in the fields of education or therapy, and individuals with high motivation and leadership skills. The trainings are built on the direct experimentation of the technique, and combine practical and theoretical acquisition of all its facets, including case studies. They can be followed by close coaching and follow-up on the field.
A selection of psychosocial projects created and delivered by Zoukak
Women, youth and children subject to domestic violence
Workshop and performance: It’s Time To Scream
A Drama therapy workshop of 18 sessions (72h in total) with 12 women, subjected to domestic violence that concluded with a public performance presented by the participants in Sunflower Theatre in Beirut.
Incarcerated youth and shelters residents
A series of workshops and performances: Incarcerated Youths in Roumieh Jail
30 drama therapy workshops of 12 session (48h per workshop), with more than 300 incarcerated youths in Roumieh jail, Lebanon, which concluded with 10 performances, based on the participants’ personal experiences and presented in front of a selected audience in Roumieh jail.
Children and youth with multiple disabilities
A series of workshops and performances: children with special needs
3 drama therapy sessions per week for more than 10 years with children with multiple mental and physical disabilities at the Habilitation Preschool of Mar Elias Palestinian Camp, Beirut, Lebanon, producing a yearly play open to the public.
Training of Practitioners: educators from centres for people with special needs
Training in psychosocial artistic mediation techniques for 30 educators from 10 centers for people with special needs across Lebanon, within the project: “Innovative Awareness Techniques for the acceptance of difference” aiming at promoting the acceptance of vulnerable groups of children and youths in Lebanon.
Workshop: promoting migrant workers' rights
Psychosocial intervention with 18 domestic workers from Nepal aiming at empowering them as community leaders. The workshop contributed to the creation of the current Nepali community group “NARI”.
Migrants and refugees
Trainings of Practitioners: Youth centres’ leaders in Palestinian camps
2 trainings in psychosocial artistic mediation techniques of 40 directors and activity leaders of youth centers in Palestinian camps across Lebanon (7 sessions of 42 hours per workshop); within Handicap International’s project entitled: “Psychological support for Palestinians refugees in Lebanon”.
Workshop and performance: Iraqi refugees in Lebanon
A Drama-Therapy workshop of 12 sessions (48h hours in total) with 20 Iraqi refugees, concluding with 2 public performances at Sunflower Theatre, Beirut.
Training of Practitioners: Syrian activity leaders`
A training of 30 Syrian activity leaders in artistic mediation techniques, that led to ten one-day events in ten different schools and locations on the Lebanese-Syrian borders and involved around 1500 Syrian children and youths, within the project “Kebayet - Wadi Khaled, Lebanon”.
Workshops and Performaces: Pick a Land For Me & My Limping Granny
2 Theatre For Development workshops (of 18 sessions each - 72h in total each) with young Palestinian and Syrian refugees, residing in Lebanon, that led to 2 plays performed in theatres in Beirut and open to the public.
Workshop and performance: Calais Camp
10-day intensive workshop that led to a night of performances during the new year's evening. The performances were punctuated with hourly celebrations of "midnight" following the sun in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Eritrea, Somalia etc.
Workshop and performance: Serbia
An intensive workshop with refugees and migrants in Serbia that led to a public performance inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh and the correlation between the journey of Gilgamesh and the contemporary migrants: a quest for the immortal life, a quest for a life of dignity, crossing the river of death, crossing the sea of death.
War and post-war populations
Workshop: July 2006 War - Lebanon
10 psychosocial interventions of one-day events with more than 2500 children in the South of Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut, following the July 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon.
Workshop: Beddawi refugee camp
10 psychosocial interventions of one-day events based on story-telling, with more than 500 displaced children in Beddawi Camp after the Bared war that took place in Bared Camp. The outcome of these interventions was concretized with the publication of 20 illustrated collective stories.
Workshop and performance: youth
A Drama-Therapy workshop of 12 sessions (48h hours in total) with youth from socio-economical marginalized contexts in partnership with Amel, Lady of the River Scout, AFEL and Laban. The workshop led to one public performance at Zoukak Studio in Beirut.