Human trafficking especially women trafficking are more visible in the south Asian countries. Jal drama portrays captivity of women for era in male-dominated social system. Constant oppressions imprison the desire of freedom. Time has changed. Women no longer want to live in constricted zone. The drama Jal (Net) symbolically upholds the confined lifestyle of fisher folk of the south Sundarbans. Generally backwardness are fuelling in poverty and illiteracy, and decaying vitalities daily. Jal reflects darkness of women trafficking and light of educational advancement simultaneously. Improvisation-based residentially developed BITA’s this production is a glowing venture to break the net igniting education.
‘KALO CHAND’ the story builds on the social harmony and integration where people from different religions respect each other’s opinion and values. As this country has an old history of peace and harmony; so uprightness is always seen as core in strengthen communal harmony.
In the drama Buddhist monastery has shown as symbol of building peace within the people living around it. The entire story portrays how the evil force tries to demolish the community integration by doing different ill deeds and how the Chief of the Monastery works so hard to reintegrate the harmony.
Mainly the entire story talks about the peace in mind that helps us to move to kindness and compassion. If we look at present global context, peace and harmony is a very present-day discussion to build a non violent society. BITA produced this play in 2013 and now presenting to the audiences in home and also started performing neighboring countries especially India, Nepal etc.
An anti- trafficking intervention of BITA
Meenkanya is a story on cross border women trafficking issue developed on stage theatre format. The production is made with a view to raise awareness through cultural campaign at the regional level. The theatre has been presented at cities and bordering areas of Bangladesh and India. The production has been inaugurated by Ms. Judith Chammas, Deputy Chief of the US Embassy to Bangladesh. In her inaugural speech said ‘Women trafficking is a serious problem in Bangladesh. Every year at least 10- 20 thousand women are trafficked from Bangladesh to other countries. In the context, BITA’s production of Meenkanya will play effective role to raise consciousness in order to resist women trafficking.’
Different Newspaper in Bangladesh and India highly appreciated the production. Agony to apathy: Borderline cases of cruelty; The telegraph, Kolkata on 6 November2004, BITA seeks to make cultural exchange with other theatre groups at home and abroad and spread the theatre movement at the international level; The Stateman Binodon, 6 November 2004, Meenkanya: A play on women trafficking; The Daily Star, 9 June 2004, Meenkanya, a story on women trafficking won the hearts of the city audiences; The Bangladesh Observer, 18 June 2004.
A presentation on Climate Change Issue
Role of theatre, a kind of psychological operation which needs sharpness in performances. The play was written and composed by facilitating the capacity, interest, logic, innovation of the group of artists as they are the principal career of the production. The play Meger Vela is about a couple who has got displaced from one place to a strange land where the rich exploiters were cropping prawn for their economical development. The couple went through many opportunities but gradually avoided to be used like puppets by the rich businessman. Even though the businessman was involved with the politicians, the couple was resisting them to get their dignified life. The play ends with a hope of struggle to exist in this world like a floating cloud carrying a capacity to rain somewhere and there would be lives growing. The name of the play is to project the Hope of Life. The production has been played at different cities of Bangladesh and India.
A joint approach with CHOL Theatre, England
CHOL is a group of professional artists of varying ages, cultures and religious backgrounds who make theatre and sculpture. It works with mixed communities of people whose origins are in Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
An imaginary play entitled ‘Sundar Prohori’ was performed in Patenga, Chittagong among fishermen community launched by BITA with collaboration of CHOL Theatre, England. The focus point of the play was the aggressive attitude of multinational companies and its detrimental effect on the live and culture of fishermen. The play displays the life style of different religion’s fisher folk community people and how the unplanned spread of industrial development hinders the status of their social life and culture.
The issued that have addressed in this play are
- What are the major threats to Patenga and its people now?
- What will be the major threats to fisher folk community in future?
- What do people of this community mostly value in their lives now?
- What achievable things would make life of this people better?
This theatre has been made through improvisation process. Adam Strickson from CHOL Theatre, coordinated the process. BITA, TCSD and CHOL workers have facilitated the process and nearly 54 fisher folk community people performed the theatre where adult and children were the participants. Most of the performers involved with BITA’s theatrical activities. And BITA’s grass root artist has composed the musical part of this theatre.
Local power structure, media people, community leaders, other community people enjoyed the theatre and the whole community people involved themselves as a part of this play and they have recognized the issue as a social issue which has been highlighted in the play. BITA believes that it’s a new process to create consciousness among community people about any social issue through their direct involvement.
Dukhini is a story about the evil practice of trafficking of Bangladeshi women to Pakistan. These women are lured, deceived, abducted from poor rural areas of Bangladesh and brought to Pakistan mostly through India. They are sold in Pakistan as wives, maids or prostitutes, sometimes through open auction. Being illegal entrants, they have no legal protection. They are in fact vulnerable to exploitation by police & law enforcing authorities. They are unable to return to Bangladesh because they have no travel documents or proofs of identity. They are condemned to live a life of suffering, humiliation and insecurity in foreign country. But Dukhini is also about the border issue of trafficking of women.
Dukhini is the first ever joint theatre project between Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is collaboration between Ajoka- Pakistan and BITA- Bangladesh. Dukhini was performed keeping in mind women trafficking being the global issue and also presented before development workers, victim, media people and along with all other policy representatives to aware about this issue. The theatre has first performed in Pakistan in 1997; it had five consecutive performances in the cities of Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. Later it came to Bangladesh and was staged twice in Dhaka and Chittagong. In the middle of 2000 it was again performed in Delhi, Chandigahr, and Calcutta of India and Katmandu of Nepal. “It is the first time that Pakistani and Bangladeshi actors are sharing further the common cause”, says Chandigarh Tribune. The production was again performed in October 2003 at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad in Pakistan.
Danish & Bangladeshi Children’s Joint Production
BITA has been working with a group of children & adolescents who belongs to deprived and slum areas. Amongst these children a group of seven members have been invited to participate in the festival “Image of the world 2000” in Denmark in the year 2000 and The children from marginalized community have jointly worked to produce a theatre on child trafficking and child labor with children of Denmark. The theatre has been disseminated in different cities of Denmark by which causes and consequences of child trafficking and child labor of Bangladesh have been reflected and children could advocated at international level on those issues. Their presentation has been appreciated and highlighted in the mass media in Denmark. This joint effort made an opportunity to exchange their views, values and culture between children of Bangladesh & Denmark.
National level campaign: Golla Chut
BITA as a core member of ATSEC Bangladesh Chapter (Action against Trafficking Sexual Exploitation of Children) produced a theatre production on women and child trafficking issue as a part of its nationwide campaign on trafficking & sexual exploitation in women and children and now performing different districts of Bangladesh especially border and trafficking prone areas. The grass root people who are working with BITA in different cultural intervention are the performer of this production.
National level campaign on Local Government Issue
BITA has developed a partnership with 20 local NGOs in Chittagong, Coxs Bazar, Noakhali & Lakshmipur to develop their capacity to produce theatre on local government issues as a part of nation level campaign on the issues birth registration & sanitation. BITA started the work in July 2003. BITA will provide technical support and impart training on Theatre Practice & Presentation, Easy Theatre Making Process and the production will be made with the assistance and guidance of BITA.
Aching: A puppet presentation in ethnic language
Chittagong Hill Tracts belongs to large ethnic community of the country, has been suffering from environmental degradation for last few decades. From this point of view, ethnic community felt the need to promote natural resource management and preferred a media which is not very common in their community and in some extent innovative. From that point of view, a production Aching was made to aware ethnic people on natural resource management and environment conservation. First time in Chittagong Hill Tracts puppet was introduced as innovative means of communication.