We have been training squad members from Chancellor College and Domasi College in collaboration with our sister organisation, Art & Global Health Center UCLA, on different women’s and gender issues, such as gender discrimination, sexual violence and harassment, reproductive justice, and exploring privileges of being a man/woman. The training has also been focusing on the experiences of the students themselves, on different gender issues they have encountered to make it more effective.
The squad members are preparing for performances on their respective campuses, where they will use different participatory art forms, such as dance, music, theatre, drama, spoken word, and poetry, to address the different issues relating to gender discrimination and violence. After they perform on their campuses, the students will take what they’ve learned and host a series of workshops with secondary school students in Zomba, Machinga, and Phalombe.
This project is being funded by US Embassy and aims to build an international dialogue and solidarity through participatory arts-based approaches, and to explore and address issues of women and girls empowerment between the USA and Malawi. This is where much of our collaboration with AGHC UCLA comes in; our MASA Squads and their Sex Squads are sharing their thoughts, learnings, techniques, and performances with each other throughout the project. Our hope is that each group of participants will learn something from the other, showing that gender-based violence is a world-wide issue and to share creative ways to address it.