Since 2020, PELE has been working with a group from “Asas de Ramalde”, an institution based in Porto who works with people who have experienced substance use disorders. In late 2021 we began a Forum Theatre workshop with this group, integrated in a wider program promoted by the Municipality of Porto dedicated to vulnerable territories and groups.
In following months, the group created a performance based on their life stories, regarding the prejudice they experience every day. “Why Can’t I?” tells the story of someone that hopes to change his life and to embrace other challenges, however his dreams collide with the external prejudices, especially from those who do not know him.
Since the premiere of this Forum Theatre play, the group has had different presentations and artistic experiences, and now PELE is focused on providing the tools for the group self-reliance.
Forum Theatre, a method from Theatre of the Oppressed created by Augusto Boal, proposes the theatricalization of reality and, from there, the rehearsal of alternatives for change. It is not intended to poetize or simplify the complex process of transforming reality and power relationships. Indeed, theatre allows people, at very least, to feel creative freedom, the exchange of roles, the rewriting of narratives and the positive contamination of this process in our lives and bodies, making us more aware of the power of collective action.