Participative Theatre

Radio La Benevolencija has facilitated different theatre plays in the African Great Lakes Region, addressing themes of conflict, violence, reconciliation and trauma healing.

Superheroes of Social Cohesion

Between 2017 and 2019, Radio La Benevolencija organised in cooperation with Théâtre et Réconciliation (run by Frederique Le Comte) multiple sets of participative theatre performances called “Superheroes of Social Cohesion”.


These performances, carried out by regional actors, took place in the border regions of Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC (Rusizi Plains).  The goal of the play is to increase awareness among the audience about factors that may instigate violence, and strategies to stop it. The storyline and core messages are adapted to the specific context and circumstances of the region.


The logic behind this intervention is that an entertaining, interactive and visual spectacle can create a lasting impression on the spectators and stimulate an attitude of critical analysis among the population of the region. The themes of identity manipulation, hate speech, stereotypes and the spread of destructive ideologies, can lead to a better understanding of the dynamics of violence and hence an attitude of active bystandership.

Breaking the Silence

Radio La Benevolencija furthermore facilitated a theatre exchange between Rwanda and Cambodia in 2012.


This is a play performed throughout Cambodia by Amrita Performing Arts Phnom Penh in order to encourage the population to speak about the still unresolved feelings between perpetrators and survivors of the Cambodian genocide of 1975-79. Breaking the Silence (You are not Alone) is a Rwandan adaptation of this play.
Focus group discussions  conducted after the theatre plays found indeed that the audiences associated the scenes with lived realities, and recognised historical factors and inherited attitudes perpetuating division. While some felt powerless in the face of political manipulation, others were committed to resisting it.
Overall, it is clear that this tool remained an effective strategy in debunking cultural myths and prejudices, educating populations and counteracting negative ideologies that threaten regional stability. Therefore, snippets of the theatre performances have also been used as a basis for online- and offline dialogues and discussions about conflict and violence prevention.
The theatre group of 2017 was invited to the Amani peace festival in Goma (DRC) on 11 February 2017 and the international Ubumuntu theatre/dance festival in Kigali (Rwanda) held on 14-16 July 2017.
Read more about the experiences of one of the theatre performers in this blog.
During the 18th Rwandan genocide commemoration week in April 2012, this play was performed and broadcast throughout Rwanda. By showing the audience the great similarity between their own trauma caused by the genocide and the trauma experienced by people living in a different part of the world, the play enhanced feelings of solidarity and empowerment between two victimized nations. It also bridged prejudices that both Cambodians and Rwandans had towards each other.