The UN Convention for the Protection of Children’s Rights has been a central aspect of all ASSITEJ Cyprus’ recent projects and activities. For its new project, “The Articles”, our centre is collaborating with the Swedish choreographer Lotta Gahrton, to produce a Greek-language version of her UN Convention-related show “Artiklarna”, which has been running in Sweden for the past ten years. The show will tour in all secondary schools of the country during the next school year. The project is co-organised by ASSITEJ Cyprus, the Office of the Cyprus Commissioner for the Protection of Children’s Rights and the Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Culture.
During the first phase of the project, which was implemented between 22 and 28 May, the choreographer made her first visit to Cyprus, during which she had the opportunity to meet Cypriot children of all ages and listen to their opinions on issues related to their rights. For this purpose, workshops were conducted in a number of schools in the country. The opinions expressed by the children will be used in order to adapt the show into the Cypriot context.
An important part of the project’s first phase was an event which took place on 25 May, during which children of all ages and backgrounds had the opportunity to share their views on a variety of topics. Their ‘adult audience’ included the Cyprus Deputy Minister of Culture, the Cyprus Commissioner for the Protection of Children’s Rights, the Ambassador of Sweden in Cyprus and the President of ASSITEJ Cyprus. Issues raised included the weaknesses of the Cyprus education system, the right of children to have a voice, as well as children’s accessibility to the arts, especially in rural areas.
The week concluded with an audition to select the two dancers which will take part in the Cypriot version of the show. The choreographer will be back in Cyprus in September for the project’s second phase, while the show will premiere on 24 October, on the United Nations Day. The opening will be attended by political figures as well as other stakeholders, members of the diplomatic body and children from around the country.