Between 2012 and 2014 I lived and worked in Malawi, developing a body of work rooted in grass roots community workshops. I continue to have strong working relationships with these groups although I am no longer permanently based in Malawi. I have also spent three years working with NGOs and activists in India, on various capacity building, research and development projects.
In Malawi I worked for four years with Nanzikambe Arts Development Organisation as Community Arts Manager. I ran weekly workshops with community groups over several years in a long term project which focussed on issues arising in participants lives. I worked with young women, prisoners, ex-street children and people with disabilities, training local co-facilitators.
With Nanzikambe I also focussed on community performance, devising and developing performances aimed at stimulating debate and discussion in communities, rather than simply spreading messages. Campaigns I worked on include Men having sex with men and HIV in prison, Violence against women and Access to Justice.
I have been working in India for three years with Nirantar on a project using theatre as a methodology for research into young people's thoughts, feelings and attitudes towards sexuality, marriage, gender and caste. My role is Research Advisor; supporting and capacity building, training field workers and providing project oversight.
In 2012 I co-wrote The Secret Life of Us with Dipo Katimba, about the lives of sex workers in Malawi based on workshops and research we undertook. The play premiered in Blantyre and was presented at the Women's Playwrights International Conference in 2013.
Following the long term work in the prison with Nanzikambe Arts, a group of prisoners who have been released over the years have formed another group, Nkhokwe Arts. Nkhokwe Arts is led and managed by ex-prisoners and I provide guidance and support. They meet weekly and carry out community performances on access to justice. They work closely with the group inside the prison which is now run by the prison and performs all over the country.