Our vision is a world in which refugees have an autonomous voice and feel empowered to use it.
Our mission is to transform the life chances of refugees by using the arts as a tool for personal development, academic achievement and community building.
- Facilitate the creation of powerful, high-quality theatre and art by refugees
- Build capacity amongst refugee communities by training young adults in facilitation, leadership, and artistic skills
- Embed new models for learning by developing creative resources and training teachers to use them
- Foster social cohesion within and between refugee communities and host groups
- Challenge audiences locally and internationally to reassess cultural assumptions about refugees – and to promote international dialogue in solidarity with them
What we do
Seenaryo runs a year-round programme of high quality arts participation, education, and training with and for refugees. Our projects include:
Youth & Children's Theatre
Aswat Seenaryo Choir
Party With Seenaryo
The Scene From The Bekaa
Victoria Lupton | Co-Director
Victoria Lupton is an arts producer and theatre maker. She has worked as a producer in contemporary art organisations in Beirut and London including Ashkal Alwan, Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom and Studio Voltaire. Her collaborative performance work includes Another Place, an audio walk she created with Syrian writer Doha Hasan which has toured to London, Brussels and Santiago so far; translating the play The Final Return by Ghiath al Mhithawi from Arabic to English alongside Stefan Tarnowski for the Royal Court Theatre; and producing At Home in Gaza and London, a digital theatre project by Station House Opera taking place in both cities. In 2016 she took up the role of Director at SEAL, New York (Social and Economic Action for Lebanon).
Oscar Wood | Co-director
Oscar Wood is a Beirut-based music and theatre facilitator, teacher trainer and educational consultant. Since 2004, he’s been Artistic Director of Upstage Performance Group, who deliver Showbuilds in the UK and are a Cultural Partner of Tower Hamlets, implementing borough-wide vocal projects. He was Head of Learning at now>press>play, creating curricular experiences for over 10,000 primary school children in the UK. He was Senior Vocal Lead for Newham Music, London, executing the vocal strategy for the borough from 2014-2016. He has been based in Lebanon since August 2016.
Naqiya Ebrahim | Head of Participation
Naqiya Ebrahim is a theatre and movement facilitator, community arts manager, and evaluator. She most recently worked in London as Head of Impact & Evaluation and Early Years Scriptwriter at now>press>play, Performing Arts Specialist at Artis Education, and Co-director at Saturday Storytellers. In 2015 she co-wrote and performed in Adventures In Noggle Noggle Land, an interactive children’s theatre production. She is passionate about using the arts for social development and has worked in this capacity in London, San Diego, Hong Kong and now Lebanon. Visit her website for more info.
Maher Safar | Operations Manager
Maher Safar has worked as a circus trainer, performer, and producer in the efforts of reviving the first social circus and circus school in Lebanon, cirquenciel. Between 2013 and 2017, he and his team were responsible for the introduction of circus in private and public schools around the Lebanese region. With the rise of the Syrian refugee crisis, Maher and his team used circus as a tool for social integration and intercultural mediation by providing continuing circus training for refugees and host communities. His list of collaboration with local and international NGOs is extensive. He has been committed to promoting arts and playfulness as a means of self-empowerment and community-building.
Alongside our core team, Seenaryo works with several Associate Artists on a project-by-project basis.
- Hassan Akoul | Theatre Facilitator
- Mohamed Al Junde | Theatre Facilitator
- Tim Bamber | Musical Director
- Amani Burhan | Translator
- Tory Brykalski | Theatre Facilitator
- Gemma Clitheroe | Web Front End Developer
- Hadi Deaibess | Teacher Trainer & Composer
- Rami Emad | Translator
- Mahabba Gharzeddine | Costume Designer
- Ibrahim Ghazoul | Theatre Facilitator
- Safaa Hafez | Choir Facilitator
- Marwan Hamdan | Filmmaker
- Ghida Hashisho | Choreographer
- Maria Hassan | Teacher Trainer & Recording Vocalist
- Jihad Hendawi | Training Researcher & Developer
- Hashem Kabreet | Teacher Trainer
- Chrystele Khodr | Theatre Director
- Lea Kradokian | Set Designer
- Lilian Mauthofer | Photographer
- Yassin Msallakh | Theatre Facilitator
- Vanessa Myho | Photographer
- Nour Ouayda | Photographer & Filmmaker
- Jad Safar | Photographer
- Tamara Salhab | Communications
- Clara Sfeir | Choreographer
- Ali Shaikh | Filmmaker & Photographer
- Somar Shaikh | Film Editor
- Manal Shakashirou | Theatre Facilitator
- Yasmine Shurbaji | Choir Facilitator
- Corinne Skaff | Choreographer
- Rania Stephan | Filmmaker
- Laura Stoker | Photographer
- Hanadi Shabta | Theatre Facilitator
- Wafa’ Tarnowska | Translator
- Stefan Tarnowski | Translator & Writer
- Dominique Tegho | Communications
- Anas Tello | Partnership Manager (Women Now)
- Ellie Vandoorne | Web Designer
- Farah Wardani | Women’s Theatre Director
Outside of our extensive Training programmes, Seenaryo has worked with 10 dedicated trainees from Shatila Camp and the Bekaa Valley. These trainees are now very much a part of the team, delivering on-going project facilitation, administration and translation support alongside Seenaryo staff.
Bekaa Valley | Women Now
- Mohamed Al Junde
- Manal Shakashirou
- Rama Shurbaji
- Yasmine Shurbaji
- Anas Tello
Shatila Camp | Yaabad Scout Troupe
- Mahmoud Hakim
- Jihad Hendawi
- Nidal Hendawi
- Aya Madani
- Mohamed Younes
Seenaryo works with a variety of partner organisations that support us in delivering our programmes either through funding, in-kind offers of space and equipment, coordination, and/or co-delivery. Our partners include organisations from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and the UK.
Women Now For Development
Women Now For Development is a Syrian grassroots civil society organisation established by Samar Yazbek, a Syrian writer and journalist. Today Women Now is the largest women’s organisation working to empower Syrian women and children through social, economic and cultural participation inside Syria and its neighbouring countries. Women Now are Seenaryo’s principal partners. They work directly alongside us in the coordination and delivery of all of our programmes targeted at Syrian beneficiaries in the Bekaa Valley.
Yabaad Scout Troupe
Yabaad Scout Troupe is a self-organised group of Palestinian scouts in Shatila camp, Beirut. Run by the Hendawi family, the Scout Troupe deliver a variety of activities for Palestinian children and young people including arts participation. The Hendawi family aim to unite children and prepare them for alternative futures that weren’t necessarily available to the camps’ older generations. Seenaryo works with Yabaad Scout Troupe to deliver a yearly Showbuild in the summer, which goes on to tour performances across Lebanon.
Dictaphone Group is a research and performance collective initiated by live artist Tania El Khoury and architect/urbanist Abir Saksouk. Together along with various collaborators such as performance artist and producer Petra Serhal, they have been creating site specific performances informed by research in a variety of places. Dictaphone Group led the delivery of Seenaryo’s Young Artist Development Programme in 2016.
Beirut Art Center
Beirut Art Center (BAC) is a non-profit association, space and platform dedicated to contemporary art in Lebanon. An unprecedented initiative in Beirut, the center constitutes a public space that makes art accessible to a large and growing audience of residents and visitors alike. In April 2016 BAC funded and hosted a Seenaryo Showbuild for participants from Uruguay School. Today, for each of their exhibitions, BAC delivers a guided tour and accompanying arts workshop for Seenaryo participants, as well as subsidising the participants’ travel costs from the Bekaa Valley.