Tag Archives: Romania

Solidarity Is Our Weapon – RtR Newsletter August

Solidarity Is Our Weapon – RtR Newsletter August

Dear friends, allies and accomplices,

Hello to you all! Welcome to our irregular Reboot The Roots newsletter …

In these times of Brexit and growing hostility to persons from other places, RTR proudly stands for solidarity with all oppressed peoples, and continues to champion the use of creative arts practices to promote multicultural harmony. We believe in direct action and unremitting creative resistance to all forms of domineering behaviour.

As long as there is an oppressed, we are on their side.

It has been one of our busiest years yet, with over a dozen new associate artists and facilitators sponsored by RtR to do what they do best – create and facilitate social and personal transformation through the arts! However, a key feature of that work this year has been to do with self-care, burnout, and creating resilience.



Highlights include:

-workshops for 60+ people at the COP21 protests in Paris in December, taking a de-escalation bloc (BEEVA BLOC!) to the streets in clown-army fashion to keep the cops on their best behaviour whilst supporting the family friendly and accessible atmosphere.

– a dozen change-agents from across Europe trained in theatre of the oppressed at Ecodharmain October, exploring how we can use Rainbow of Desire and forum theatre to promote unity and liberation.

– we visited Budapest twice to deliver a two-week theatre project around the theme of response to the refugee crisis, returning again to explore therapeutic theatre for healing in February.

– we funded artists to attend festivals in Switzerland and Greece to exhibit their artworks and perform in autonomous spaces, in support of anti-elitism and prisoner solidarity.

– we supported facilitators to return to Cluj in Romania to deliver workshops on the feedback method, feminist history and theatre for social change.

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But we’re not through yet!– in August, RtR is partnering with the Eroles Project to facilitate two weeks of arts-activism on the theme of borders and creating resilience in these troubled times, providing funding and training for a team of facilitators to work with a team members to explore how to keep on keeping on in the face of burn-out and sometimes overwhelming resistance.

– still upcoming this year, we will rejoin Focus Atelier for the inaugural platform event in Chiesenau, in the Republic of Moldava. This will be the first time RtR and Associatia Reciproca are holding this event in one of the poorest countries in Europe.

– we hope to attend the Berlin Tattoo Circus in September with associate artist Sierra Weppla and Creative Director George Wielgus to support prisoners and generate dialogue around the injustice system through Theatre of the Oppressed.

– for this year’s Theatre of the Oppressed Training Week in Ecodharma, Cataluyna, we want to sponsor two emerging facilitators to attend to expand our network and support their development as trainers and artists.

– in 2017, we will launch the Ouroboros Exhibition in London – our first major UK Project – featuring a range of multidisciplinary artists with experience of social exclusion. The theme is around creative responses to the destructive nature of crisis. Watch this space for the upcoming indiegogo campaign and future updates.



How You CaTeatru-Forum-si-Teatru-Invizibil-Focus-Atelier-44n Help

– join us! On September 4th we are having our annual general meeting for all our members and supporters. More details to follow but feel free to write to us to express an interest.

Solidarity is our weapon. Come vote on our decisions, stand to be a trustee, pitch us an idea, get involved, you are most welcome, the house is yours!

– share our website & social media to promote our work

– write something for our blog on your experience. Did you attend a workshop or performance? Has RtR helped you? We would love to hear about it …

sign up as a regular donor … as little as £2 a week will help us to continue to support the development of artists with experience of social cohesion, assisting them to gain access to new audiences and achieve our vision of a united, multicultural society.

bung us some cash … one-off donations make up nearly 50% of our funding each year. Maybe you participated in one of our free workshops and enjoyed it, maybe you were funded yourself to attend something, now we need your contributions to make these amazing events keep happening!

– watch out for our upcoming indiegogo campaign to raise £3500 to host a multidisciplinary arts exhibition in Tower Bridge in 2017, featuring a range of artists from socially excluded backgrounds.

We couldn’t do this without each other,

Love and solidarity, and many thanks to all the people who have touched our lives,

The RtR Bloc


International Theatre Day – Cluj, Romania

International Theatre Day – Cluj, Romania

In March 2015 RtR sponsored George to facilitate a series of workshops across Romania … here’s a report from his experience in Cluj.


We had spent a week designing and playing forums around ideas of freedom of expression. Through improvisation, we had explored the struggle of student workers and autonomist squatters in Cluj attempting to establish independent and non-hierarchical spaces. We had re-enacted riots, occupations, battled cops and capitalists and defended the rights of homosexual couples to express themselves intimately and publically. We had explored the oppressions of religion, of self-doubt, of the cops in our heads, attempting to find solutions to set ourselves and our companions free.

On International Theatre Day – a year and a day since students occupied Cluj University for two weeks of forum and self-actualisation – our little group of theatre artists hit the streets, unsure of what exactly might happen, but determined and prepared to find out. We played with invisible balls in the park, passing them to passerbys to returned them with a laugh. We rediscovered benches, lamp-posts and bins, converting them into make-shift percussion.We chased after each other for the sheer thrill of the chase.

Later, in the streets of Cluj, we staged an attempted bike theft from one of our own, and were shocked by the bold and indignant intervention of local street traders, who berated the ‘thief’ and chided the ‘owner’ for being so confident in leaving her bike unlocked. We provoked, and our actor afterwards was concerned that everyone in town would think him a thief. We talked as a group and decided, better to let them think it was real than be the boy who cried ‘wolf’. We had wanted to incite a response and had succeeded.

In the late afternoon, we wandered over to the National Theatre, where they were having an open day. In the grand interior we sat, mute and appalled, as some bespectacled elitists asked and answered their own questions on the relationship of theatre and society. Alienated by their monologue, we slipped out into the street and growing rain.

That night, 300 cyclists gathered in the Piata Uneri for the monthly Critical Mass. A horde of wheeled barbarians wheeled around the city, blocking traffic, taunting the police, sounding horns and chanting ‘bi-ci-cleta!’ as they reclaimed the roads. People smiled, waved from windows, realised their mistake as they tried to push through a crowd of militant cyclists with their car. A group of anarcha-feminists buzzed the abortion clinic where pro-lifers were holding a 40 Day Protest ‘For Life’ with screams of ‘my body, my choice. Bikers blockaded roads to allow the mass to pass, and at the climax rallied back at the Piata to decry the corruption of the Romanian government with hundreds of other protesters.