Masharaka Participation

Youth & Children’s Theatre

Our weekly Youth Theatre and Children’s Theatre in the Bekaa Valley gives Syrian refugees a platform to find their own voice. At Seenaryo we want every child to thrive so we work on: encouraging self-expression; empowering children through creativity; giving participants confidence as budding theatre-makers. At the end of each term, the children and young people perform an original show that they have devised and developed themselves. Delivered in partnership with Women Now.

This project was different – it involved group work and increased my confidence
Youth Theatre participant

Aswat Seenaryo Choir

“Aswat Seenaryo” means Seenaryo Voices. “Aswat” represents our participants’ singing voices but, just as importantly, their voices as artists and young people with something to say. Our choir sings high-quality music from around the world, developing participants’ musical horizons, as well as writing songs collaboratively as a choir. Aswat Seenaryo also collaborates with choirs in the UK, increasing cultural exchange and mutual understanding. We perform around Lebanon to local audiences, other refugee groups and at high-profile concerts and festivals. Delivered in partnership with Women Now.

Aswat Seenaryo made me appreciate my country, Syria
Aswat Seenaryo participant

Showbuilds

During the holidays Seenaryo run weeklong intensive projects where our artists collaborate with participants to create an original piece of theatre. Every aspect of the show is devised from scratch: script, songs, dances and design. The performance is shared with friends and the public on the final evening. As with all of Seenaryo’s work, training is a central aspect and we work alongside four young trainees each week. Many Showbuilds continue to live after their debut being re-worked, re-rehearsed and toured locally by our trainees.

It has been a great experience and it helped me to tell the truth - in a funny way because that's the best way to reach people
Showbuild participant

Women’s Theatre

In Autumn of 2017 Seenaryo launched it’s first Women’s Theatre programme for Syrian women in the Bekaa Valley. Nine women between the ages of 16 and 42 came together to work on the devising process led by Farah Wardani, a theatre director identified by Seenaryo. Together they created Souriyeh, a theatre piece about love, death, hope, imprisonment, and success in the time of war. The themes of the play were very much inspired by the women’s own experience of living through war and migration before finding refuge in Lebanon. Delivered in partnership with Women Now.

I’ve changed a lot. I’ve become more self-confident and can now face any problem. I discovered I am more capable than I thought and appreciate myself. When I stepped onstage I realised how powerful theatre is as a space to express everything inside us.
Women's Theatre participant

Creative English

Our Creative English workshops (for children and adults) allow participants to develop confidence in speaking within an enjoyable and relaxed environment. Participants join a ten-week course where we improve vocabulary, listening and speaking skills in real-life and role-play situations. Creative English celebrates English as a language for enjoyment and practical use, whilst still allowing participants to benefit from lesson-based practice. Delivered in partnership with Women Now.

It has made a huge difference in my life coming here. The teaching quality is different to anywhere else.
Creative English adult participant

Cultural Trips

For each of their public exhibitions, Beirut Art Center (BAC) deliver a guided tour and accompanying arts workshop for a group of Seenaryo’s Syrian participants living in the Bekaa Valley. BAC is a non-profit space and platform dedicated to contemporary art in Lebanon. An unprecedented initiative in Beirut, the center makes art accessible to a large and growing audience of residents and visitors alike. Participants get a chance to engage with a rich and diverse range of contemporary art and cultural practice, as well as develop skills in a visual art form. Delivered in partnership with Beirut Art Center and Women Now.

Previously, with support from Ettijahat-Independent Culture, within the framework of Create Syria – Seenaryo has also taken children to exhibitions and theatre productions at Basma w Zeitouneh, Marfa’ and Sursock Museum.

I learnt that women can do anything
Cultural Trip participant

Maktabat Seenaryo

Maktabat Seenaryo (Seenaryo’s Library) is a lending library for refugees in Lebanon. There is an urgent need for quality children’s books to help refugees learn English – a key skill for building bridges with host communities in Lebanon and employment later in life. We are in the process of launching this library for Syrian children in partnership with Sawa for Development & Aid.

Tadreeb Training

Young Artists

In 2016, Seenaryo ran a year-long Young Artists programme led by the Lebanese research and performance collective, Dictaphone Group. The young Syrian artists were supported in developing their own art forms alongside mentorship in research, project proposal writing, and budgeting. They were also given the opportunity to visit and attend workshops with several arts organisations/groups including Beirut Art Center, Ashkal Alwan, Mansion, Arab Puppet Theatre, Sursock Museum, Zoukak performance group, Studio Damj and Dawawine. The young artists have since exhibited their own artwork in a showcase called The Scene From The Bekaa. Funded by Ettijahat-Independent Culture within the framework of Create Syria, delivered in partnership with Women Now & Dictaphone Group.

Seenaryo have secured funding from the Arthur & Holly Magill Foundation for a new Young Artists programme, and have started working with a new group of artists from February 2018.

I've gained confidence in being an artist, expanded my experience in filming, and have a wider idea about art from the trips we took
Young Artist

Creative Toolkit

Creative Toolkit is a one-off workshop for an entire school’s staff, introducing them to theatre games and exercises in a classroom context. In two and a half hours, we take teachers through a whirlwind of activities that can be adapted to fit their curriculum needs. Funded by the Asfari Foundation, delivered in partnership with Women Now.

My class made a story, and acted it out using your tableaux exercise. I made this story the basis of their creative writing exercise. Their writing was so much better than normal, and it generated so many more ideas! Children who normally only write a few lines wrote an entire page.
Teacher, Kayany School

Applying Theatre

Applying Theatre is a six-week programme that trains schoolteachers in theatre devising. It culminates in teachers creating their own performance with their class. Seenaryo supports teachers in creating original music for the show, with lyrics written by the children themselves. Applying Theatre is delivered twice across the academic year to a series of Syrian schools. Funded by the Asfari Foundation, delivered in partnership with Women Now.

Seenaryo taught me how to differentiate for students of all abilities with these activities
Teacher, Sawa School

Young Facilitators

Seenaryo trains participants in how to apply their artforms in an educational context. Participants learn practical tools in applied arts, leadership, and broader pedagogy. Young facilitators are given the chance to support on Seenaryo’s children’s programmes, and eventually lead their own workshop supported by Seenaryo staff. In 2017 this programme was funded by Asfari Foundation and delivered in partnership with Women Now. In 2018, this programme is funded by Team Archie.

I’ve learnt to work towards learning objectives through activities and games
Young Facilitator

Kindergarten Playkit

Our Early Childhood Education Playkit is an ambitious new resource for kindergarten teachers, empowering them to use music, drama and play to deliver the curriculum. In partnership with the International Rescue CommitteeCaritas Lebanon and Ana Aqra, Seenaryo have been conducting needs analysis and research, and working with teachers and artists to develop the resource. Across 2018-19, the resource (with accompanying training) will be rolled out across Lebanon in emergency refugee schools as well as public Lebanese schools.

I taught early childhood education for eight years before becoming an Officer, and I have never seen anything quite like this
Maysa, Senior Education Officer at IRC

Munasara Advocacy

Party With Seenaryo

Party With Seenaryo is a unique cross-cultural experience where people from around the globe get the opportunity to party with Syrians & Palestinians in Lebanon via a video livestream. The aim of these parties is to bring together music lovers from different sides of the world, and also challenge audiences locally and internationally to reassess cultural assumptions about refugees, and promote international dialogue in solidarity with them.

As part of the Southbank Centre’s 2017 Meltdown Festival (curated by hip-hop star M.I.A) Seenaryo hosted a party in Riwaq Café, which featured music from local Syrian DJs YaKuzan and Zaki, and an iftar party in Shatila refugee camp with playlists curated by Palestinian young people.