|Francesco Argenio Benaroio
|Country of origin / País de origen
|Country where you do your work
|Please tell us about your work in peace education. / Cuéntenos sobre su trabajo en la educación para la paz.
I am a participatory social theatre practitioner, IT engineer, project manager. I have lived and worked in various contexts and communities: project manager for the United Nations / ILO, for European Commission, in the private sector, teacher in schools, educator/trainer in community-based organizations, project coordinator and community processes facilitator for NGOs and grassroots organizations around the globe for the empowerment, peace and dialogue in various communities, especially with young people.
I have coordinated and facilitated community and participatory theatre processes in the UK, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Colombia, India, Nepal/Tibet, Thailand/Myanmar.
I have always believed that personal and community peace can come from the encounters of people that don’t usually meet: from the playful, real, honest space that can be emerge inside and among people by playing and performing together, as human beings: humanizing, re-humanizing, connecting, re-connecting.
|Start in the field & motivations / Inicio en este campo y motivaciones
Almost 20 years ago I had left my job as IT Engineer in Italy to move to Székesfehérvár, a town in Hungary, where I was teaching computer science in a secondary school. In one lesson we were practicing the use of powerpoint, and some students came with presentations depicting very violent scenes of one of the minorities in the country. No one of them had ever encountered or played with kids of that minority, and their view was filled with anger towards them, stereotypes, and what we define today fake-news. I felt frozen, as teacher and educator. That episode triggered something inside me. I felt the call to find tools to challenge those stereotypes, to create spaces for encounter, dialogue and peace.
|Significant Career Moments & Success Stories / Momentos significativos de tu carrera y historias de éxito
I am the founder and director of ANAMUH – Arts for Dialogue (www.anamuh.org), a social initiative created in 2016 aimed at establishing and sustaining spaces for communitarian dialogue through the use of participatory theatre and arts. I have been coordinating social theatre processes with various groups and communities, with participatory creative activities, spaces for arts to emerge, especially where encounters and play are not possible or common: play, theatre and performance, training courses and communitarian performances for dialogue and peace.
I am also the production manager of Play Perform Learn Grow – PPLG (www.pplg.org), a conference, an international gathering and a growing global community, founded in 2017 in response to the dehumanizing conditions created by the refugee policy crisis in Europe, PPLG has already taken place four times since then. It brings together people from around the world who use play and performance to engage social issues, heal trauma, stimulate imagination and possibility, generate community, and build bridges.
|What keeps you going? / ¿Qué te hace seguir?
I am deeply committed in creating and sustaining spaces so that the transformative power of play, participatory theatre and arts can emerge, as means for encounter, dialogue and peace among human beings, communities and cultures, for personal healing, social change, (re)humanization.
It’s not always easy to find internal and external resources for these spaces to be created, to exist and to be sustainable. What motivates me is the feeling, the intuition sometimes, that when an encounter has happened, when a clown nose has been shared, when a group of people who wouldn’t have met, played and performed together: this can’t be undone, it stays. That person ceases to be one-of-the-others: we have played on stage, we have laughed together. And this is something that stays, inside and outside. And I believe that this personal and relationship change is one of the changes that are needed, especially in a more and more polarized and antagonizing world. Spaces for encounters, for play and performance, for dialogue, for peace.
|Spread Peace Ed