NGOs & Community
Bonfire’s community based work:
Our style of theatre is a powerful and accessible way to facilitate community dialogue, transform people’s attitudes towards one another and act as a catalyst for individual and collective healing. Core to the Bonfire Theatre Project’s services, is to work in partnership with other Non Profit Organisations and Community Based Organisations to make our work accessible to communities affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty and violence.
We have worked with a range of community based partners, including:
- St Luke’s Hospice support groups for HIV+ adults
- Treatment Action Campaign support groups for HIV+ adults
- Twilight Children’s Shelter in Hillbrow for street children
- Desmond Tutu HIV/ Aids Foundation
- Masiphumelela community Xenaphobic Attacks project
- Soweto Kliptown Youth Community Centre
- Various schools on the Cape Flats
- Ons Plek street shelter for girls
- Refilwe Childrens Home in Gauteng
- Graaff-Reinet Children’s home
- Kids Positive at Groote Schuur
The Bonfire Theatre Project provides a valuable space for social and community healing, where people not only tell their stories but can hear other’s stories and discover that they are not alone in their experience. Audience members have the opportunity to ‘stand in the shoes’ of fellow audience members as they watch their stories unfold on stage, leading to greater understanding across social, cultural and racial divides.
Our work with those affected by HIV, has contributed to the critical need to address HIV related stigma still rife in communities. Having the opportunity to share stories on a safe platform, has meant that for many individuals the life threatening silence has been broken. In the work we have done around the Xenophobic attacks of the last few years, we gave people from different nationalities the space to share their stories, which had a powerful effect on audience members who could their own stories reflected in others’. The ‘rehumanising’ of a targeted people is an essential step to developing the necessary understanding and compassion, to work towards developing a less violent society. For vulnerable children, the experience of a Bonfire Theatre show is equally powerful. Children are drawn out of isolation in either sharing or witnessing others tell stories. In our improvised reflection of the story they have the experience of being seen and understood in an incomparable way.
The Bonfire Theatre Company actively encourages crossing divisions between race, class, gender and nationality so that we can undermine prejudice with knowledge of one another. Our unique style of transformation theatre is a powerful tool that can be used in many different social contexts from conflict resolution between groups, team building in organisations, healing in traumatised communities, honouring and celebrating people that have died, building community and facilitating change.