“I see a difference but I also see similarities. Both want the transformation of the world, a change of reality.”

An encounter between Theatre for Development and Theatre of the Oppressed


  • Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn University of Coimbra




The following conversation between an Afro-Brazilian Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) practitioner and Theatre for Development (TfD) facilitators and producers from different countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean took place during a seven-day “Global Workshop on Theatre for Development” in Lusaka, Zambia, on July 5-11, 2015. The global workshop brought together seventy participants from eighteen countries and was organized by UNICEF Headquarters Communication for Development section and Africa Directions, a Zambian, community-based arts and theatre organization, with the aim of developing principles, guidelines and strategies to strengthen the application, scale, sustainability and impact of participatory theatre in community empowerment and social transformation in development and humanitarian contexts.

Author Biography

Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn, University of Coimbra

Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn is a German-Bolivian Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback Theatre practitioner. For the past 15 years, he has worked in different contexts around the world, especially in Afghanistan, where he co-founded the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO; www.ahrdo.org), a political theatre and direct action platform based in Kabul. He is currently doing his PhD, researching on the Epistemologies of the South and the Theatre of the Oppressed, at the Centre for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra, Portugal. Hjalmar was one of the co-organizers and co-facilitators of the 2015 Lusaka workshop.