SPOTLIFGHT

Come hither ye men; come hither ye women; come one come together" is a cry often associated with Indian villages, but this one emanates from the Marxloh Comprehensive School's hall

 
Published: Tuesday 15 October 1996

Germane to India


"Come hither ye men; come hither ye women; come one come together" is a cry often associated with Indian villages, but this one emanates from the Marxloh Comprehensive School's hall, in the German city of Duisburg! Thirty to 40 German school children, participating in a play called Investigations in India are its renderers. The play is part of the Development Policy Theatre Project and specifically aims at providing German children with a better understanding of the problems faced by those Indian children who flee from their peasant backgrounds to the cities and those who live on the streets of Bombay.

The project is the product of a research and presentation technique developed by three actors of the Hamburg-based PAN Theatre. The trio travelled to India last year and extensively recorded the experiences of the children and the efforts of organisations like Shelter, in Bombay, to give them refuge. The 90-minute collage of play scenes, slides and stories that resulted, included the children as participants. Although the action on stage appealed to all, the actors found that the socially-deprived German children reacted much more spontaneously. This only proves what Andreas Peckelsen, one of the actors, said: "Nowadays, all problems are global in nature and if we do not succeed in making people see how things are inter-related on a worldwide scale, nothing will ever change."

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