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An initial review of the literature shows positive results for the effectiveness of these programs.
However, much work remains to be done in developing comprehensive theater-based violence prevention programs and longitudinal evaluation of their impacts.
Boal (1979) developed various techniques of performing theater with oppressed communities for the purposes of liberation and transformation.
In his “poetics of the oppressed,” Boal explains, “perhaps the theater is not revolutionary in itself, but it is surely the rehearsal for the revolution” (122).
Through the example of CBC’s program, the paper then proposes that exploring the limitations of current constructions of masculinity with groups of men and boys using creative and participatory methods will reduce community and family violence by beginning a process of cultural change and reconsideration of what it means to be a man in our societies.
In addition to analyzing the theoretical foundations of the Equinoccio and its impacts on participants, the paper also reviews studies of theater programs used with teenagers in the United States, particularly focusing on teen dating violence prevention programs.
Freire began developing his participatory education programs around the same time as liberation theology was popularized throughout Latin America.
These programs have served as models for communities not only in Latin America, but in developing countries around the world struggling to overcome poverty and political violence.One of the most important theorists and practitioners in the field of popular education was Paulo Freire.He advocated for education programs rooted in the realities of oppressed communities with the goal not simply of learning, but taking action to transform the injustices operating in society (Freire 1974).First they represent the actual situation, then the ideal situation and finally a transitional image to show how to achieve the ideal. The group chooses a situation related to a social problem. Audience members are invited to intervene in the scenario to propose a solution to the problem.Many social programs in Latin America develop interactive social dramas based on this model to increase the awareness in communities of public health problems, environmental issues and women’s rights, among other topics.
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Leaders and theorists from Paolo Freire in Brazil to Monseñor Oscar Romero in El Salvador have mobilized war-torn communities to engage in educational activities based in their own realities with the purpose of identifying oppression and seeking justice.