Police and the Immigrant Community

“Police and Community” is a series of workshops featuring Saanich Police and immigrant actors.The workshops use ground-breaking Transformational Theatre techniques to explore the dialogue between immigrants and police to build mutual trust and reduce discrimination. The workshop series takes place between September 2013 and March 2014. Transformational Theatre is the integration of several techniques including image theatre, forum theatre, playback and non-blocking improvisation. Actors present images and perform short scenes based on real stories of conflict and cultural insensitivity provided by both the police and local immigrants.The audience is invited to intervene and enact solutions to the problems in real time. The consequences of different solutions are discussed and the audience is guided to explore and find the most appropriate and workable ones. Different points of view are played out, leading to strategies that reflect cultural sensitivity and differences. The learning is experiential, fun and positive.
The first Theatre Forum workshop and presentation took place on October 21 at the Saanich Police station with great success. Saanich Police Community Liaison Staff Sgt. Scott Treble, one of the 15 police officers who attended the workshop, said: “It was a great learning experience for all of us as police officers to consider the impact our actions, our words and behaviours can have on other people, in particular newcomers, and their lasting effects. It definitely broadened our perspectives in that area.”
The workshops are facilitated by Transformational Theatre Practitioners, Lina de Guevara and Victor Porter.
Workshops are intended as examples of democracy in action, and the objective is to use non-threatening creative techniques that highlight community dialogue and initiative – the belief that solutions to community and workplace problems can be found from within the community itself.
This project is a partnership with the Saanich Police. A Welcome BC Program, this project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.