T – 1.4 Marginalized people target

The creativity exercises explored in this training are applicable to many groups and communities, including those who may be considered marginalised. However, there is a duty of care for anyone working with marginalised people, and it is crucial that exercises are not simply transferred to different groups without diligent care for their specific needs and vulnerabilities. In creating this training, we focused on the needs of migrant groups, including refugees.

By employing a non-verbal approach to refugee performance, MORE THAN WORDS circumvents the frequently employed (and deeply problematic) approach in refugee theatre which places the refugee’s personal story of trauma and migration at the centre of the performance. Our concern about such an approach is that it tends to reiterate a discourse of victimhood, turning the refugee into an object of spectacle and the audience into voyeurs, whose moral responsibility is abrogated by the distance this creates. The non-verbal approach jettisons this narrative in favour of a statement of physical presence in a shared socio-political and cultural space, and so refutes the whole concept of the marginalised. A properly functioning society has no margins, but is fully inclusive.