Jana Sanskriti (JS) Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed established in 1985 was the first exponent of Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) in India. Today the Centre is seen as one of the most important point of references to the global community of Theatre of the Oppressed. Jana Sanskriti believes that there is perfection latent within every individual – waiting to be discovered and manifested. When a person discovers this perfection he is able to overcome the sense of inferiority imposed upon him by the centralised social culture. He becomes articulate, confident and capable of confronting challenges, which come on the path of development. Jana Sanskriti’s goal is to create a space in which the oppressed will have enormous scope for introspection and discovery of the self and to facilitate a meeting between the individual and the perfection within himself. For “what is this perfection but the richest resource of human society?”
Over 3 decades JS has addressed issues like domestic violence, child marriage, girl child trafficking, child abuse, maternal & child health, primary education & heath care, illicit liquor, etc. – all through theatre. A recent study headed by Dr. Jyothsna Jalan of Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata has proved the impact of ‘spect-acting’ in creating a strong community of active & responsible citizens.
Jana Sanskriti’s journey began from a small village in the Sunderbans in 1985 today it has 30 satellite theatre teams in West Bengal (mostly in the districts of South and North 24 Parganas and Purulia), two in Tripura, one in New Delhi. Teams have also been formed in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhond, Madhya Pradesh, Orrisa and Karnataka. These teams reach at least 2,00,000 spectators every year through their performances. As Augusto Boal said, “Jana Sanskriti is the largest and the longest lasting forum theatre operation in the world”. Of the teams in West Bengal, nine are all-women theatre teams, perhaps another first in India.
Jana Sanskriti has also been organizing a bi-annual Forum Theatre festival called Muktadhara since 2004 (next scheduled in 2016). These festivals have been highly successful and attended by noted theatre personalities from India as well as from all the continents.
Where is Jana Sanskriti Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed