'E-race'-ing racism in Renmark

Riverland Youth Theatre

The Riverland Youth Theatre in Renmark, SA, saw an opportunity to break down barriers of racism and unite their local community by adopting one of the youth-developed ideas, ‘E-Raced’, from the 2014 Heywire Youth Summit. Their plan was to stage three free storytelling events, showcasing local Afghan youths’ stories of migration, after developing the performance from a series of storytelling workshops.

In support of the Riverland Youth Theatre’s mission to develop the wider community’s understanding of the diverse cultures that reside in the area, they received a $6,085 grant from the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants program.

The performance workshops gave the young Afghan participants the opportunity to learn ‘photographic storytelling’, as well as how to conduct an interview as a way to get the participants to learn about each other and to showcase their individual stories. It was clear during the workshops that participants were keen to share their stories about their life and arrival in Australia. The workshops also sparked the interest of participants in the Riverland Youth Theatre and the future possibilities for performances.

The performances and presentations were delivered at two major events, with the first performed fittingly on Harmony Day. The showcase events were very well-received by the broader community, who relished in the opportunity to learn about another culture.

Excitingly, it is expected that this project will have a longer impact. Over the next two years, a number of projects are planned to be developed with the newly arrived refugees. 

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