Workshop: Questioning Traumatic Heritage

Date: 16/11/2019

Time: 14-17 hrs

Location: H401

A workshop with Giselle Vegter and Rabiaâ Benlahbib

In the framework of SPEME and in collaboration with Creative Court, The Hague


This workshop is fully booked.
For a place on the waiting list please send an e-mail to


Using the methodology of Theatre of the Oppressed, developed by theatre practitioner, drama theorist and political activist Augusto Boal (1931 – 2009, Brasil), we will in creative ways research the dilemmas we face in the work field of trauma, memory and heritage. Boal’s methodology is rooted in Latin-America societies and came towards Europe in the ’80’s of the last century, where it was developed further. This playful method encourages our creativity, imagination and spontaneity while at the same time providing for research tools enabling us to take a closer look at conflicts, unspoken emotions and unconscious behaviour of humankind. Boals’ saying “Peace no Passivity” has inspired many theatre-practitioners in the field of conflict, memory and transformational processes in many countries around the world.

In a three-hour workshop, we will focus on the dilemma’s we are dealing with in our field and their underlying actors. By bringing these actors into the open we can start to look for alternative ways of perceiving them and approaching them, which will help us to get a deeper understanding of how traumatic experiences, working through in the present, could be transformed.


About the facilitators

Giselle Vegter (1976) studied Theatre Science at Utrecht University, Theatre Directing at Amsterdam University of the Arts and Theatre Therapy at the Institute for Theatre Therapy in Berlin. Since 2004 she has been working as a freelance director in productions for young and adult audiences for festivals and theatre companies. She is a teacher and tutor in the International Master Artist Education at ArtEZ Institute in Arnhem.


As a theatre maker she gets her inspiration from (theatre) literature, performance art and social and therapeutic work. Her projects are a combination of community art, theatre and other disciplines.

In 2010 she founded Hotel Eldorado with the aim of creating projects that connect theatre and art to questions about identity, human rights and dignity. She uses her training in the methodology of Theatre of the Oppressed to give workshops for refugees and groups that suffer the consequences of displacement or exclusion to support them in telling their stories and creating theatrical dialogues for an audience.


Rabiaâ Benlahbib is the founder and director of Creative Court, an organisation that develops art projects and reflects on global justice. Creative Court works from the notion that empathy and reflection are crucial qualities for peaceful coexistence, and that art has the ability to incite these qualities. The organisation works internationally and is based in The Hague, the Netherlands.


Previously, Vegter and Benlahbib collaborated on Rooms of Humanity, an interactive theatre installation and public programme starting from the question: ‘Where does humanity slip into genocide?’. The project looked into themes such as individual vs. collective responsibility, exclusion, propaganda and the dynamics between victim, perpetrator and bystander and was produced by Creative Court. Currently, the two are preparing The Innocent Lab, a research and workshop programme exploring how our common colonial past works through in our daily encounters in the present.