Though human trafficking laws are in place here in Nepal, they are implemented poorly. Numerous NGOs operate though with little coordination. With approximately 7000 men, women,children being trafficked here annually, information gathering is necessary, particularly since this is being done across borders. Its complex and necessitates coordination between many different agencies.
The second challenge is the culture itself. If a young woman has been trafficked and is rescued, its highly unlikely she can return to her village. Stigma runs deep, and many families will not accept her back. Her community sees her at fault, and with no place to return to, she is left alone with no safety net. The rescue coordination, the "safe" houses/hostels, training, healing are all necessary to help these survivors to recreate their family/community and self esteem. The trauma they suffer is all- consuming - emotional, mental, physical.
We spent time with the young women at a "safe" house/hostel today. They were all in different stages of healing and timing after their return to their country/life after being rescued. They were normal young Nepali women - loved to do art, play games, sing and, most specially, dance. We did all of these with them, and they clung to our arms, grabbed our hands to dance, smiled big, were shy, and screamed and laughed, and for a few short hours, maybe were able to see beyond the mire of their lives. Many cried when the time came to part. Estranged from their family, shunned by their community, they are forced to recreate their own.
Shakti Samuha (shaktisamuha.orga), an NGO, supported by their own meager funds, offer these survivors shelter (for as long as necessary as each one needs a differing amount of time to rebuild her life), skills training (computer, sewing, weaving) and a support to rebuild and recreate their lives.
7 of the young women, who have been working for Shakti Samuha for the past 3 years have also been learning how to teach Expressive Healing Arts training during this this time also. And that is what our global group of 12 is doing here in Kathmandu. We have come to support, be guinea pigs for the girls training, and help strengthen their safety net with the Power of Women. And in this past two weeks we have become heart-sisters along the path to wholeness. I have learned so much from them.
On Stephen Shelley
~ Peter Brook, The Empty Space
This was written in 1968 by one of the most brilliant minds of the modern theater. I read this over 20 years ago and it is still as relevant today as it was then, if not more so. A performance space need not be contained within a proscenium, nor does it have to have a grid or a flat playing area. It doesn't have to have wings, dressing rooms or even seats, for that matter.
At times throughout history, and particularly since the 1960s, artists have conceived of very dynamic works of performance outside of these traditional confines. But in the last 15-20 years, work of this nature has dramatically expanded. In this study of the evolving notion of the performance space, I will briefly look at the origins of space and the roots of the traditional space. I will then discuss the impact technology has had, and is having, upon the concept of the performance space and then look at some of the exciting ways contemporary artists are forging new ground outside of the traditional structure.
Throughout these essays, I refer to the "traditional space" often. By “traditional space”, I mean a performance venue which has a stage and a section for a seated audience. This includes the classic proscenium stage (which we’re all used to), the thrust stage and theater in the round. The commonality between all of these stages, and which is important for this article, is that the audience is in a passive/receiving mode, and the action - typically comprised of some combination of actors, singers, dancers, a stage, lights and costumes - is played out upon the stage in full view of the audience. This is what I mean by “traditional space”.