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FEMTALKS FORUM COMPARATIVE REPORT IO2 AUGUST 2021



Introduction

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About the femtalks forum pilot programme 5

Delivery of the femtalks programme

7

Delivery in the UK

11

Delivery in Italy

12

Delivery in France

13

Delivery in Austria

14

Delivery in Hungary

16

Recruitment and profile of the participants 17

Assessments and programme evaluation 19

Facilitators comments & recommendations 22

Annexes

24

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FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

INTRODUCTION FemTalks Forum aims to combine different training methodologies into a single highly blended learning programme for the development of female migrants. This project enables women to acquire new skills, strengthen their self-confidence and selfefficacy to then put into practice what they have learnt using an innovative digital sharing platform. Using this learning programme, FemTalks Forum intends to help female migrants increase their employability and social inclusion and provide them with additional advice for further development. The programme was delivered by the following partners: ● ● ● ● ●

Inova Consultancy - United Kingdom Elan Interculturel - France MateraHub and #reteteatro41 - Italy Artemisszió - Hungary InterACT - Austria

Between 2018 and 2021, the partners worked together to develop a new programme for migrant women. This training programme was piloted twice in all countries to assess the quality and impact of the programme. A minimum of 10 migrants took part in each pilot in each country. Therefore, more than 120 women across the partnership participated in the programme. This comparative report outlines the delivery of the IO2 pilots in the partnership. Pilot 1 took place from May 2020 to March 2021, and pilot 2 was conducted between February and June 2021.


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

ABOUT THE FEMTALKS FORUM PILOT PROGRAMME The FemTalks Forum training programme was developed for female migrants (from both EU and non-EU countries) who want to build their self-confidence and develop skills (including digital skills) to better integrate into communities, find work or set up a business, including those who need help integrating into their new host country by strengthening their social inclusion and other skills required in this process. This way, FemTalks Forum aims to improve the image of migrants in the EU and tackle stereotypes. The FemTalks Forum training programme is innovative because it uses the technique of Forum Theatre, and aims to: •

Overcome oppression in order to work on an integration project.

Facilitate cross-cultural communication and exchange.

Improve language and communication skills.

Improve soft/transferable skills (self-confidence, interpersonal and organisational skills, etc.).

Improve self-reflection and self-efficacy.

Understand why and how theatre values migrants’ experiences.

Improve digital skills - combined with the Digital Sharing Platform (IO5).

Forum Theatre, as an interactive and participatory form of theatre, offers the audience a space for exploration of alternative action in the framework of a presented scene. Forum Theatre plays are the result of an intensive collective and participatory search for ways of acting and changing stressful, oppressive situations or structures; it denotes a group dynamic triggered off by drama performance methods. Turning individual, subjective, and collective experiences into theatre and reflecting on them, with the help of theatrical methods of learning and research, leads to condensations in the shape of scenes and images that can be worked up creatively in different ways. The play, the audience, the forum phase, and the “joker” are essential for a Forum Theatre performance: Forum Theatre plays usually show social or political situations of conflicts and are based on personal experience. A main goal of Forum Theatre performances is to search and try out different options of acting, behaviour, attitudes, and solutions in and for situations coming from the lives of the participants.


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

The programme has been developed to propose a series of modules to discuss the issue of female migration: the project aims to understand the obstacles and barriers that stand in the path of integration for the women in the partnership countries, to be able to overcome them, and to talk about them in a different way through the practice of Forum Theatre and digital storytelling. There are 5 main units in the programme: 1/ Knowing each other 2/ Main challenges and obstacles 3/ Connecting issues and challenges 4/ Creating and analysing scenes 5/ Exploring and reflecting strategies


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

DELIVERY OF THE FEMTALKS PROGRAMME The FemTalks Forum Theatre training offers a safe, creative, and participatory space to explore issues, problems, conflicts, and challenging situations coming from the lives of the participants. Theatrical games, exercises and techniques play an important role: it is the symbolic and emotional language of theatre that everyone can use and that can help to understand him- or herself, the relations to others and existing problems and conflicts. In this sense it becomes a tool to explore the issues, problems, and conflicts of integration by connecting these issues to everyday life. This tool allows one to find and to “rehearse” strategies to overcome them. Thus, the theatrical process and dialogue initiates personal and social transformation.

The Forum Theatre training in the FemTalks project… ●

is always an experience based on the use of different elements including the body, voice, gesture, mind, senses, and feelings,

is strongly interactive and offers safe spaces for dialogue and exploration of issues, and assumes that everyone has the capacity to play and to act theatre,

connects action and reflection and builds up bridges to every day’s life,

understands the role of a trainer as a facilitator, who knows how to create a supporting atmosphere in the group, who offers several tools and methods of participatory theatre for the participants and who gives impulses for reflection and exchanging ideas and insights,

opens a space with various impulses to “rehearse for reality”: new perspectives, insights and actions can be tried out and transferred to “real life”,

involves the ‘audience’, the spectators into the performance processes and to overcome the border between “stage” and “audience” – this is always the case during the process of the training.

Below is a table summarising the dates of pilot 1 and 2 in the partner countries and the number of participants:

PILOT 1:

Partner

Session number

Length of the session

Date of the session

Online of face to face

Total number of participants engaged


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

Inova Session 1

10am-4pm

25.03.2021

online

Session 2

10am-4pm

26.03.2021

online

Artemisszio

15 (including external evaluator)

6 Session 1

5pm - 7 pm

23.03.2021

online

Session 2

5pm - 7 pm

24.03.2021.

online

Session 3

5pm - 7 pm

25.03.2021.

online

Session 4

5pm - 7.30 pm

30.03.2021.

online

Session 5

5om - 8 pm

31.03.2021.

online

Elan

7 Session 1

10am-1pm

28/08/2020

Face to face

Session 2

2pm - 5pm

28/08/2020

Face to face

Session 3

10am - 1pm

29/08/2020

Face to face

Session 4

2pm - 5pm

29/08/2020

Face to face

Session 5

2pm - 5 pm

12/10/2020

Face to face

InterACT

11 session 1

09am - 01pm

29/06/2020

face to face

session 2

09am - 01pm

30/06/2020

face to face

session 3

09am - 01pm

01/07/2020

face to face

session 4

09am - 01pm

02/07/2020

face to face


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

session 5

09am - 02pm

03/07/2020

face to face

#reteteatro41 / MateraHub

13

session 1

09.30 am - 12.30 pm

19/10/2020

face to face

session 2

2pm - 5 pm

19/10/2020

face to face

session 3

09.30 am - 12.30 pm

21/10/2020

face to face

session 4

2 pm -5 pm

21/10/2020

face to face

session 5

09.30 am - 12.30 pm

23/10/2020

face to face

PILOT 2:

Partner

Inova

Artemisszio

Session number

Length of the session

Date of the session

Online of face to face

Session 1

10am-12:30pm

26.04.2021

Online

Session 2

10am-12:30pm

27.04.2021

Online

Session 3

10am-12:30pm

28.04.2021

Online

Session 4

10am-12:30pm

29.04.2021

Online

Session 1

5pm – 7.30pm

25.05.2021.

Online

Session 2

5pm – 7.30pm

27.05.2021.

Online

Session 3

5pm – 7.30pm

31.05.2021.

Online

Session 4

5pm – 7.30pm

01.06.2021.

Online

Total number of participants engaged

14

20


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

Elan

InterACT

#reteteatro41 /Materahub

Session 5

5pm – 8pm

03.06.2021.

Online

Session 1

10am-1pm

09/02/2021

Face to face

Session 2

2pm - 5pm

09/02/2021

Face to face

Session 3

10am - 1pm

11/02/2021

Face to face

Session 4

2pm - 5pm

11/02/2021

Face to face

Session 5

2pm - 5 pm

11/03/2021

Face to face

Session 1

9am - 1pm

26/04/2021

Face to face

Session 2

9am - 1pm

27/04/2021

Face to face

Sesssion 3

9am - 1pm

28/04/2021

Face to face

Session 4

9am - 1pm

29/04/2021

Face to face

Session 5

9am - 1pm

30/04/2021

Face to face

session 1

9.30 am 12.30 pm

17/05/2021

face to face

session 2

9.30 am 12.30 pm

18/05/2021

face to face

session 3

9.30 am 12.30 pm

19/05/2021

face to face

session 4

9.30 am 12.30 pm

20/05/2021

face to face

session 5

9.30 am 12.30 pm

21/05/2021

face to face

14

14

14


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

Delivery in the UK - Inova Consultancy In the UK, both pilots took place online, respectively in March 2021 and in April 2021. In total, 28 women from Mexico, Poland, Brazil, Greece, Lebanon, Bangladesh, United States, Pakistan, and India participated in the training programme.

The recruitment was also carried out online, thanks to Eventbrite and social media, which allowed Inova to reach people from all over the United Kingdom. According to the participants (students, employed and unemployed), the main challenge that they face is language proficiency, but it did not affect the training as they were all able to communicate fluently.

It was the first drama activity for several participants and they felt comfortable participating thanks to the icebreakers at the beginning of the sessions and activities during which they got to know each other’s names and backgrounds, as well as the open-minded and inclusive atmosphere. For the facilitators, adapting the material to an online training was a challenge but they found it interesting and rewarding to notice the participants still enjoyed the activities despite the lack of face to face contact. They also adapted the structure of the training, as the second pilot took place every morning forfour days to allow the participants to take care of their family during the rest of the day.

Most of the participants assured they really enjoyed the training. Overall, the sessions were very successful and the participants’ engagement throughout the programme was exceptional. Everybody tried their best to take part in each activity, and they respected one another during the performances. This idea is reflected in the high scores in the final evaluation of the training: several women affirmed it was enriching to listen to everybody’s stories and they felt “they


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

belonged”. They also felt the training had a positive impact on their development and skills as they are more aware of their competencies, which explains why they had rated some of their skills higher than after the training. Through the sessions, women were able to exchange ideas and they enjoyed talking about their vision of migration through theatre, even though they were not at ease with this way of expressing themselves before.

Delivery in Italy - MateraHub & #Reteteatro41 The implementation of the IO2 delivery in Italy was done face-to-face for both pilots. However, health measures, new regulations and government restrictions delayed the launch of the sessions. The team (#reteteatro41 and Materahub) had to adapt to the new conditions and create local partnerships with theatre schools and migrant’s schools to facilitate the implementation of the programme in the best conditions. The two pilots were conducted with a group of women from culturally and socially diverse backgrounds, including differences in their faith and beliefs. All these differences in frames of reference and life paths have in fact created a mutual curiosity and no judgement. A total of 14 women participated in the workshops in Italy, from Nigeria, Iran, Ivory Coast, Spain, Morocco, Cuba, Ecuador, Indonesia and France. In each pilot, the main challenges for the women were learning the language , and for some the understanding of how the Italian system works in order to find a job. The pilots were very successful in Italy, with 100% of the women recommending the programme. The participants all have shared their experiences and shared their stories and resources with the other participants:


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

“It has created a good cohesion in the group. Integration issues have been addressed, which have provoked rich reflections among the different points of view.” From the trainer's point of view, it is very important to have a very diverse group of women from very different socio-cultural backgrounds. This has allowed us to address both simple and basic issues but also to work on critical and political issues relevant to migrants and especially migrant women, such as women's autonomy and the desire to fight for their rights. In this sense, Forum Theatre can strengthen awareness of social challenges and injustices. Similar to the French partner’s experience, it was quite difficult to find women who were willing and available to participate throughout the programme because they were busy with children or work. Finally, a finding from #reteteatro41 and Materahub is that the Femtalks methodology triggers a process of transformation both in those who receive it and, more importantly, in those who propose it. It favours an approach based on the complexity of life, without looking for solutions but favouring reflection on oneself, mainly on one's own resources, starting from the barriers and challenges, a process that takes place both in the facilitators and in the participants. The result that was observed most clearly was the transformation of the relationship during the sessions among the women, and with the facilitators. From the first sessions to the last, something positive and impactful was born.

Delivery in France - Elan Interculturel The period when the programme was carried out in France (relatively complicated due to health crisis, lockdown and restrictive measures) confirmed that, more than ever, it is necessary to offer time for exchange, meeting, listening and sharing. In the context of a health crisis, we felt it was important to adopt a broader preventive approach by placing more emphasis on the human dimension, so that the obvious negative consequences of distancing or isolation measures, such as anxiety or an increase in psychosocial problems, are taken into account. The impact on work, well-being, motivation and social relations is particularly strong for people who are already in a vulnerable and precarious situation.


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

The groups who took part in Pilot 1 and Pilot 2 (20 women) in Paris were quite diverse in terms of age (from 25 to 55), origin (Algeria, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Congo, Morocco, Lebanon, France...), legal status (some had obtained French nationality, others were still in the process of doing so), family status (with or without children: although most of them (9/12) were mothers of several children). This is why, when asked "in your opinion, what is the biggest challenge for an immigrant woman in France", the answers were quite diverse: “having our papers”, “finding a job we like”, “being independent”, “language”, “housing”, “prejudice” etc. The programme had a real impact on the women who participated in the pilots in France. Very positive changes were noticed after the sessions: an end to a toxic relationship, completion of a thesis, moving, finding new job opportunity, getting a driving licence etc. Overall, feedback from participants was very positive and enthusiastic. We were able to see improvements in the participants' self-assessments in the results of the pre-programme and post-programme evaluations. The 5 sessions had a really great impact on their self-confidence! The icebreaker format followed by more "in-depth" exercises to address issues related to female migration worked very well: first introducing confidence, laughter and play, then listening, sharing and non-judgemental communication. Regarding a future development of the project, Elan believes that the experience of the FemTalks Forum Theatre programme will make us continue to work with the methodology of forum theatre. Elan has been contacted by a day centre for families in Paris who would like to set up this kind of workshop with their clients to encourage resilience in the face of complex situations in everyday life. Since the end of the programme, most participants are still in touch. One of the women from the first pilot has since created a catering service in Paris and made the buffet for the final project event in Paris!

Delivery in Austria - InterACT Due to the pandemic, recruitment has been rather complicated to conduct in Austria, but thanks to a large network, InterACT could contact many organisations working with migrants. However, because of the coronavirus lockdown, the activities have been re-adapted in order to prevent infections and the first pilot had to be delayed by one month. In the end, a total of 30 women took part in the programme in Austria, in person. The group was a highly diverse group in terms of age, theatre experience, working status, religious background etc, and cooperated very well and everybody was ready to help each other. The women were coming from both European and non-European countries. The countries of origin of the


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

participants were: Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Romania, Spain, Azerbaijan, the USA, Bulgaria, the UK, Slovenia, Sudan, Nigeria and Mongolia. Referring to the pre-evaluations and the process of the workshops the main challenges in the two pilots were rather different. In pilot 1 it was particularly the issue of “finding a job” and then partly connected to this: managing their household, childcare and their job at the same time; language skills; networking; nostrification and adapting to the culture. A very high percentage experienced discrimination in Austria. In pilot 2, the issue of “learning the language” and "discrimination" was prominent, which was partly connected to the following: (adult) education, school (connected to their children), contact/networking; adapting to the culture, flat-search. Sexual harassment was also a heavily processed topic.

Forum Theatre as the applied method worked very well to explore the issues of the women. Very often it was possible to find new strategies to handle the conflicts, sometimes it helped to better understand the situation, participants’ own roles and the role of the antagonist. Self-confidence was growing day by day and at the end women expressed their happiness with the group and the theatre work. They spoke about the good group-atmosphere and group work, feeling accepted, having fun, progress in speaking German, honesty and openness, expressing one’s opinion, good exchange of experience, feeling accepted, being on the move and their wish for an extension of the training. The daily feedback shows that the satisfaction with the training was very high. At the end of the training, the participants commented that they would recommend this training, and they felt that they learned and improved skills. After analysing the pre- and the post- evaluations, it is safe to say that the aims of the training (finding strategies to overcome obstacles, networking, and crosscultural exchange, improve language and communication skills, improve soft and transferable skills like self-confidence, self-efficacy, etc.) were fulfilled as an increase can be observed in almost all categories surveyed.


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

Delivery in Hungary - Artemisszio In Hungary, the two pilots took part online. 26 women participated in the digital sessions. The majority of them came to Hungary for work, family or studies. In terms of origin, the group was composed of women from Poland, Brazil, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Jordan, Ukraine, Kenya and Romania. The conclusions of these two pilots conducted in Hungary were strong in learning and discovery, by the participants and the trainers. Even though the sessions were all conducted on the internet, the participants' conclusions are similar to those identified in the countries where the programme took place face to face: "It is interesting to realise that your everyday challenges as a foreigner woman are similar to other women's problems and that you can use comedy and improvise with others to try to take it easier".

For the trainers the process was very interesting, filled with learning opportunities and with a lot of positive feedback. The participants were very happy with the programme, they expressed their interest in further events as well. Artemisszio hopes that they will join their intercultural community soon, when the regulations allow them to meet in person in a bigger group as well.

The online approach and techniques worked well, and provided a rich learning experience in online theater: (I) The online workshops are an opportunity for women who may not live in Budapest or who, for some reason (family circumstances, insecurity, anxiety), find it difficult to leave their homes to still benefit from the programme. (II) Workshop at home brings both security and uncertainty as well (a voice may accidentally echo in, a figure may appear in the background, or a participant may say that they do not want to speak very loudly). (III) However, engagement can also be weaker because of the online format: it is easier to jump in and out, work in parallel, type in a chat that I have to go, the stakes are lower for a leaving than if I have to leave an actual training room, and attention can only be maintained for much shorter periods. (IV) What is clearly a downside is that the appreciation of humour, and often even its presentation is very limited. It was present when Artemisszio was working on sketches that, although they presented difficult topics, were often very humorous. Although at the beginning of the process, contrary to the conventions, participants were asked not to mute their microphones if possible when there was no noise around, so that it might be easier to contribute to the group discussions, but out of habit and politeness, usually everyone muted themselves. As a result, the ones who were doing the role play could not hear the giggles and laughter, which are affirming and give a sense of achievement.


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

RECRUITMENT AND PROFILE OF THE PARTICIPANTS Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, part of the programme had to be adapted to the restrictions and measures in force in the partnership countries. The programme, initially created for a face-toface implementation, was revised to be adapted online. Thus, the programme took place in a face-to-face format in Italy, Austria and France, and online in the UK and Hungary. Recruitment for the programme was mainly done via social networks. Several online platforms were used to recruit participants, such as Facebook, Instagram, Eventbrite, Twitter, Meetup. In addition to recruitment via social networks, promotional events were also organised (conferences, forums, intervention by partners), and in Italy and France the second pilot took place in collaboration with other local organisations (a foundation in France and a school in Italy). Across the partnership, 128 women took part in the FemTalks Forum Theatre Training adventure. The participants of both pilots came from a variety of different european and non-european countries. The countries (38) of all participants are presented on the geographical map below:

Asia : Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Syria, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Mongolia Americas : Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, United States, Venezuela Africa : Algeria, Congo Kinshasa, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tunisia Europe : Belgium,Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, North Macedonia, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom

Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain,


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

The women who took part in the FemTalks IO2 training programme have very diverse and heterogeneous profiles, in terms of age, period of residence in the host country, country of origin, legal status, family status, employment, faith, etc. The participants were all at different stages of their lives in terms of jobs and studies, with many of them being unemployed and looking for a job. Some were from vulnerable groups or status, some others were from the middle class. These differences were evaluated by the FemTalks teams and by the participants as an additional richness to the programme: having such diverse backgrounds and experiences was a real advantage to the programme, and made the Forum Theatre scenes and analysis particularly interesting, thanks to the participants' contributions and views. . Participants had unequal levels of language proficiency: some spoke it well because they had been living in the countries for a longer time, and others had more difficulty communicating in the languages used in different countries (Italian, French, English, German). That is why in Italy, for example, translations were made in English or French (by the participants themselves!) and in Hungary the workshops were held in English, not in Hungarian, in order to facilitate the participation of all. In the pre-evaluation it came out that almost 70% of participants felt discriminated against, mostly because of religion, nationality and language. Lastly, the benefit of online training was the ability to recruit participants that could be based all around the countries. This made the training more accessible and allowed people to join who may have otherwise been unable to. The topics that were covered in the Forum Theatre training correspond to the main reasons why participants joined the programme: to work on issues of integration as immigrant women, to be surrounded by a group to exchange and share challenges and identify solutions. The challenges that emerged and the topics that were worked on and presented in Forum Theatre were: • • • • • • • •

Work seeking / How to find a job as a single mom / Discrimination in hiring Language barriers Difficulties with administrative procedures and requirements Sexism / Racism Loneliness Discriminations in access to housing (“I don’t rent my apartment to foreigners.”) Cultural codes De-qualification


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

ASSESSMENTS AND PROGRAMME EVALUATION To support the development of the programme, an evaluation pack was developed, which included: ●

A pre-programme skills self-assessment; participants rated their own skills in a number of areas linked to the programme at the beginning of the course. This also includes questions on their expectations for the programme.

Unit Evaluations; after each unit the participants completed a short evaluation form on the content and delivery of the materials. This was not mandatory for Pilot 2.

Post-programme skills assessment / Final overall evaluation; finally, the participants repeated the skills self-assessment done at the beginning of the programme, in order to compare the progress made in each area. Participants also completed a wider evaluation on the programme as a whole, including its impact on their personal and professional growth, whether it met the expectations they had at the beginning and the overall course content and methodology.

The aim was for all pilot participants to complete these in order to gain their feedback and assess the impact of the programme on individuals. The main results of the evaluations are outlined below, and the full details are in the National Reports from each country.

The main challenges of living in the countries of the partnership as a migrant, that were discovered through the evaluation form, include a lack of language proficiency and the difficulty of feeling like they belong. Difficulties in finding a job, developing new relationships and friendships and childcare were also a major issue for many of the participants. Participants had very positive feedback regarding all the units of the session. In general, they conveyed that engaging with each other was the best aspect of the training. Many expressed their surprise in their practice of forum theater, at first this was scary for them, but then it turned out to be a very positive discovery as several participants stated that they had a lot of fun taking part in the forum theater scenes and noted the progression of the exercises that allowed them to arrive at the practice of theater in a serene way, without feeling judged. Overall, the participants were able to improve their existing skills and grow their confidence through this programme. The activities for each unit were well suited to their needs and abilities, as they reported being extremely satisfied at the end of the training.


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

“The methodology used during the workshop was very beneficial to reflect on my

reactions, past and possible future ones, regarding similar conflicting situations” “It is interesting to realize that your everyday challenges as a foreigner woman

are similar to other women’s problems and that you can use comedy and improvise with new people to try take it easier” Regarding the assessment of their skills, generally, the group members seemed to have a very mixed self-perceptions. Very low, low middle, good, and very good self-evaluations are rather equally represented in the different categories. An interesting aspect, and one that is found in each of the countries where the pilots took place, is that the scores increase as the sessions progress. As the group forms, as the exercises continue, as goodwill and trust are built, distrust of the programme and the theater diminishes. Self-confidence was one of the aspects that changed the most between the "post-evaluation" and the "pre-evaluation".

“Smooth progress with forum plays! Greatly done, a lot of enthusiasm for finding new solutions” “ For me the best takeaway is the feeling of building something together. We came from different countries, different language, different cultures, and we built something together”

Of the 127 participants in the program (excluding the external evaluator), 125 recommended their participation in the FemTalks Forum training programme! The fact that the sessions were conducted during the Covid pandemic meant that very strong bonds were quickly developed between the participants, and recreated a space where “the Other” was no longer a danger but a support, a strength: “For me it's really difficult to separate my analytical and scientific mind and open for subjective things. At the beginning I was not that comfortable, but then I was able to adapt. And right now I really feel I needed this. After all this period of time when I had no human interaction, it was really interesting. And I am really thankful”


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

FACILITATORS COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Overall, a shared finding is that the sessions were very successful and participants’ engagement was exceptional throughout the programme . Everybody tried their best to take part in each activity, and they respected one another during the performances. Whether digital or face-to-face, many participants found it difficult to open up at the beginning. However, over time and with the use of icebreakers (face-to-face) and breakout rooms (online), they felt more comfortable around each other, and each participant was able to share their experiences and stories, gradually building the confidence necessary to take part in the forum theater training. For trainers the process was very interesting, filled with learning points and with a lot of positive feedback. The icebreaker format followed by more "in-depth" exercises to address issues related to female migration worked very well: first introducing confidence, laughter and play, then listening, sharing with a non-judgemental approach. The process of the programme was very much appreciated, at all levels: the documents provided, the guides, the lesson plans (very detailed, and therefore very practical to use). One piece of advice is that in the construction phase of the design, you must identify partners who actively play the role of mediation between communities in cities. Forum theater and the methodology used and created by FemTalks partners has a real impact on the people who take part in it, and many stakeholders or organisations could gain a lot by engaging their beneficiaries in this kind of program. After the delivery of the training, some key learning points and recommendations have been identified for online delivery of the FemTalks Forum training. These include: -

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The online workshops are an opportunity for women who may not live in the city where the programme is delivered or who, for some reason (family circumstances, insecurity, anxiety), find it difficult to leave their homes. Several of them also expressed that they feel safer in their homes and therefore feel more comfortable sharing deeper content and stories with the group, and find it easier to try something new - like theatre. Often there is someone else in the room, so the feeling of free participation can be challenged (not wanting to be very noisy, etc.). Engagement can be weaker because of the online format: it is easier to jump in and out, work in parallel, it is easier to leave the training online than face to face, and attention can only be maintained for much shorter periods of time. Organising small groups is somewhat limited using online delivery (you cannot leave it to the group to find a pair for themselves, according to their mood or who they have not been with before). Pair work can be organised via online conference softwares such as Zoom. The learners still found this useful, one noted that she enjoyed “Getting into pairs and working scenes!


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

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Connecting with other women who have similar migration stories!”. Breakout rooms allowed participants to connect deeper. Using online delivery does have added benefits such as connecting individuals who may not have crossed paths before. In the United Kingdom, the piloting had individuals from a wide range of cities. This would not have been possible with face-to-face delivery. It is important to state online etiquette for workshops. For example, keeping your microphones muted during certain parts (e.g. when the facilitator is describing the exercises) in order to avoid noise. Prior to the training, it is useful to let the participants know what is expected from them in regards to the use of cameras and microphones. In some workshops, participants may feel anxious and uncomfortable to show themselves. Thus, in order for the workshop to be carried out successfully, participants should be notified about the usefulness of turning on a camera and their microphone. Affirmative hums and giggles are cut from the communication as people are used to mute themselves. At the end of the programme, to set a celebratory performance where participants and the facilitator could meet in person would be a real asset. This would bring a fun end to the programme whilst allowing others to come together.

Key learning points and recommendations have also been identified for face-to-face delivery of the FemTalks Forum training. These include: -

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Using ice breakers at the start of each session is a useful way for learners to feel more comfortable in the group. Face-to-face delivery allows learners to connect with one another and maximise the use of body language. A big space is important for the delivery of the training as it offers free movement. If you are working with individuals with less advanced levels of the language the training is being conducted in, it is important to keep the language used simple and clear. If participants do not understand something, it is beneficial to explain this in a different way. If any photographs are to be taken of the session, consent needs to be received firstly. A closing circle at the end is important. Letting participants reflect on the day and their feelings. If any negative feelings arise, the facilitator should ensure the learner is fine prior to departing from the session. Body language is useful in identifying how learners are doing throughout the session.


FemTalks Forum Theatre Programme Comparative Report

ANNEXES -

Pilot report 1 – UK Pilot report 2 – UK Pilot report 1 – Austria Pilot report 2 – Austria Pilot report 1 – France Pilot report 2 – France Pilot report 1 – Hungary Pilot report 2 – Hungary Pilot report 1 – Italy Pilot report 2 – Italy


The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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