Yat Madit drama series inspires community dialogues

Yat Madit drama series inspires community dialogues

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Yat Madit TV series inspired intercultural dialogues among Acholi, Lango, Teso and Karamoja communities in Northern Uganda.  MFA screened episodes of Yat Madit to groups of community members after which participants discussed issues and problems of the North depicted in the episodes. The participants also deliberated on alternative solutions to the problems of the North and how they can be implemented in their communities. A dialogue in each location hosted at least 80 people per screening. In most of the cases most people attended the screenings for five weeks in order to consistently follow the story in the 13 episodes. In every region, at least three meetings took place every week reaching 1400 people.

Some tribes that previously had little interaction or regarded each other with suspicion, were able to speak openly and work together to respond to the challenges in their community during these meetings. Therefore the dialogue sessions offered an intercultural platform for communities to solve issues. For instance, in regard to land wrangles some of the solutions include consulting with elders before land is sold, introduction of by-laws to guide communities in case of sale of land. In case of alcoholism there was call for more jobs for young people, by-laws against the sale of alcohol packaged in sachets among other solutions. On the rights of the women, clan leaders should help to spearhead the advancement of women’s rights. The intercultural dialogues were the first of their kind in all these communities across Acholi, Lango, Teso and Karamoja. The use of the drama series as a tool for peace building was received positively across these regions as a unique approach to conflict resolution.

‘’I have been working in peace building and conflict resolution for 4 years. It was the first time I was incorporating drama in a dialogue, and this made it very easy to communicate. We can practically send the message across by acting and showing the reality to our people, and they will change. All this by artistically using a combination of drama and dialogue’’- CSO representative in Acholi region. Even after the project has ended, MFA and the CSOs continue to receive accounts about

In some locations, participants committed to continue to work together to further deal with the challenges that their communities were facing. For example in Lakwana sub-county in Omoro district, Acholi region, a Yat Madit community has been initiated by the youths in that area. The Yat Madit community, which comprises at least 41 members, sensitizes and raises awareness on conflict resolution approaches and on other post conflict challenges through drama and dialogue. They identified issues like child abuse, domestic violence, land conflicts, tribalism among others that they would act out through drama. For dialogues, the community lists tribal discrimination, causes of conflicts, advantages of peace and reconciliation among others to respond to. Below are snapshots of the group’s planning documents.

A drama series for social change: Building peace and reconciliation in Northern Uganda through film and dialogue