IAC to heighten awareness on gender based violence through stage play

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Writer/Director of the Play, Neaz Subhan.
Writer/Director of the Play, Neaz Subhan.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Domestic violence, now labeled as gender based violence, unfortunately, continues to plague societies with devastating effects in many instances. Often, death, which is an ultimate outcome, overshadows the lingering trauma faced by surviving members, especially children.

Their challenges in a broken home while brought to the fore following a headline case, is quickly forgotten since it is no longer in the media spotlight. Of course, another factor is because this case is being swiftly replaced by another on the front page. The cycle continues; unfortunately.

The word “fleeting” readily comes to mind. Given the general scenario of how people are pre-occupied with ensuring their well-being, a pause, precipitated by a glance at a headline, is noted. At that moment the outrage, if achieved, is either vociferously internalized or vented with those in proximity. Suggestions of what should have been done to prevent the tragedy which has already taken place or for the future, become abundant.

Such reactions may be deemed a natural tendency; a tendency that is unfortunately short-lived; fleeting to be exact.

It would not necessarily be inaccurate to note that another tendency is for all to rightly condemn, but expect everyone else to become involved. The expectation is for others to raise a voice, which if not muted, can not only be a cry for help, but a roar which can resonate to heighten awareness and to engineer behavioral change.

More so, the seeming lack of cries can be in some way be attributed to the perception of the stigma that such abuse maybe confined to one section of society; a section which is not deprived of poverty.

Under these circumstances it would not be challenging to posit that the absence of a roar may be because those who possess the related decibels, are not stereotyped in the category noted. In other words, if one is not bothered, why bother!

It is in this context that the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC), as part of its social mandate, feels compelled to stage another play which examines aspects of domestic violence; gender based violence to be precise.

This new venture, “When Chocolate Melts”, written and directed by Neaz Subhan, following the staging of Vijay Tendulkar’s “Kanyadaan” in 2008, examines some thematic areas with regards to family while emphasizing the challenges faced when confronted with the horrors of domestic abuse and its related effects.

It juxtaposes ones responsibility to the family while grappling with the trauma he/she experiences from such abuse while bringing to the fore the vulnerability of children who unfortunately become trapped is these scenarios. In addition, how such situations should be dealt with, given the pressures of culture, stigma and law enforcement are also examined.

The stage can be a mirror, and given the many horrific incidents of domestic abuse in Guyana, the IAC believes that this play presents an important and effective medium, not only to reinforce messages, but to empower with the desire to force change.

The IAC has always been robust in its condemnation of such abuses and reiterates that it does not condone gender based violence in any form.

“When Chocolate Melts”, opens on November 9 and continues on November 10, 2013, at the National Cultural Centre, commencing at 19:00 hrs on both evenings. The eleven cast members are Chris Gopaul, Nirmala Narine, Mahadeo Shivraj, Nazimul Hussein, Tonya Singh, Sonia Yarde, Simone Persaud, Keisha Narine, Romel Edmundson, Shonna Chowtie and Shawn Budhna.

It is the IAC’s fervent hope that civil society, Non-governmental and Religious Organizations and Guyanese in general would not only support this venture but would use the support as a mechanism to enhance awareness.

Tickets are available at the National Cultural Centre and security will be provided for vehicles.

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