Preventing radicalisation through theatre

ACT! is a collaboration between Violence Prevention Network (in its capacity of an association of experts in extremism prevention and deradicalisation work) and the Zoukak Theatre Company in Lebanon. Its goal is to strengthen the latter partner, which is a social entity, and provide professional development services in the field of violence and extremism prevention.

3 junge Menschen sitzen vor einer bunten Wand
©Violence Prevention Network/fotoploetz

Cultural education and activities to build an open, participative and inclusive society in Lebanon

The project is based on the assumption that young people born in Lebanon after the civil war and the large population of young refugees are key to building an open, participative, inclusive society in Lebanon. In reality, however, youths and young adults lack cultural offers and access to cultural education and activities. Considering the high rate of youth unemployment and the unstable security situation in the country, involving the young generation in the resolution of social conflicts is crucial for stabilising society as a whole and preventing the radicalisation of individuals. That is the main objective of the project. Violence Prevention Network and Zoukak plan to advance the existing opportunities in this field and provide outlets that will allow young people to express and process the complex social conflicts at play.

Workshops in Beirut

The project focuses on organising workshops in Beirut that enable all project partners to convene and develop existing tools of non-violent communication and anti-violence work combined with approaches of drama therapy. Its purpose is to find effective ways of reaching out to young people who are at risk of radicalisation, already radicalised and/or potentially traumatised. It further aims to establish methods and strategies that can support the work that is being done in Lebanon, determine how they can be developed further over the course of the project and find ways to help Zoukak advance its own methods.

After an initial workshop, the project will enter its testing/development phase, during which Zoukak will be working on its methods in the field of anti-violence and non-violent communication. Its goal is to encourage young people to understand and come to terms with their own biography, family history and experiences of forced displacement.

Project partner: Zoukak Theatre Company

The Zoukak Theatre Company is a Lebanese NGO based in Beirut. It was founded in 2006 and uses theatre as a means of social and political expression. At Zoukak, theatre pedagogy and the methods of theatre therapy are tools for (self-)reflection and empowerment and an opportunity to process current affairs and life events. The company applies approaches from theatre pedagogy to reach out to marginalised groups, such as:

  • women, children and young adults who have been victims of violence (in particular, domestic and gender-based violence)
  • incarcerated young people
  • children and young people with disabilities
  • refugees and migrants
  • sections of society that have been affected by war and (violent) conflict

Violence Prevention Network gGmbH
Alt-Reinickendorf 25
13407 Berlin

+49 30 40 755 122
ACT! From the story to the Act
The ACT! project is funded by ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e. V. (zivik funding scheme) with resources provided by the German Federal Foreign Office.