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Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association

National Network: 
Lebanon
Address: 
Chaghouri Bldg. 17, 2nd floor, Impasse 39, Najeeb Azouri street, Adliyeh 66, Achrafieh
Beirut 1100
Lebanon
Telephone: 
+961-3-855943
E-Mail (2): 
Organisation Type: 
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment: 
2006
General Information: 

Zoukak was created in 2006 by six theatre makers from a need to develop a professional continuity for theater as a practice, a belief in this practice as a political and social involvement and a faith in collectivity as an action against marginalizing systems.

Zoukak's methodology of work emphasizes processes of creation and is based on the belief that collaboration lifts the creative operation to a higher level allowing for unexpected approaches to theater-making, all the while providing a more horizontal participation in decision-making and a multiplicity of expression.

Since Zoukak's inception and with each new project, Zoukak strives to find new ways of collective creation, springing from the understanding of theater as collective work done by diverse individuals.
Over the years Zoukak has also been applying theater on various levels: social, psychological, and educational. Zoukak developed a special approach to drama therapy and socially engaged theater, giving workshops, training sessions and performances in different Lebanese regions and in various contexts, finding ways to connect social interventions with artistic investigations.

On the other hand and in Zoukak’s endeavor to develop an environment of dialogue and reflection around the performing arts, it supports and expands a network of diverse practitioners, by organizing cultural events that put together Zoukak members and its audience with artists from Lebanon and around the world (Europe, USA, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa) through workshops, residencies, performances, lectures, encounters and discussions around theater, dance, live art, play-writing, architecture, drama therapy, education, and cultural policies. One of the main goals of this networking is to attempt to provide a space for practical exchange and critical thinking about these practices.

This space was concretized with Zoukak's studio, which opened its doors in 2008, serving in part as a free access rehearsal and creation space for local performing artists and remaining "the kitchen" of this entire project.

 

تأسست "زقاق" عام 2006 من قبل ستة فنانين نتيجة حاجتهم إلى خلق استمرارية مهنية لعملهم المسرحي، ولقناعتهم بالمسرح كفعل والتزام سياسي واجتماعي، وإيماناً بالعمل الجماعي كموقف في مواجه مختلف الأنظمة التهميشية.
تركّز منهجية العمل في زقاق على عملية ومسار الخلق. ففي حين يساهم التعاون الفني في فتح أفق جديد لدى الفرقة في مقاربة المسرح، تعتمد الفرقة تشاركاً أفقياً في إتخاذ القرار وإختلاف أساليب التعبير. منذ بداية زقاق، ومع كل مشروع، والفرقة تبتدع طرقاً وأساليباً جديدة في الخلق الجماعي. ينبع ذلك من فهم معيّن يعرّف المسرح على أنه عمل جماعي بطبيعته، يصنعه أفراد مختلفون ومتنوعون.
يتم تطبيق المسرح في زقاق وعلى مدى السنوات الماضية بمستويات مختلفة: إجتماعية ونفسية ونفس إجتماعية وتربوية. طوّر أعضاء الفرقة أسلوباً ومقاربة خاصّة في المسرح العلاجي والمسرح الاجتماعي، فأقاموا ورشات عمل ومحترفاتٍ تدريبيّة وأعمالاً مسرحية في مختلف المناطق اللبنانية وضمن أطر وبيئات مختلفة، مختبرين طرقاً خاصة في ربط التداخلات الاجتماعية مع بحوثهم الفنية.
من جهة أخرى، وضمن السعي إلى فتح مساحة نقاش وتبادل حول فنون العرض، عملت زقاق على توسيع شبكة تصل بين فنانين مختلفين، عبر تنظيم أحداث ثقافية جمعت الفرقة وجمهورها مع فنانين من لبنان والعالم (أوروبا، آسيا، شمال أفريقيا، الشرق الأوسط، الولايات المتحدة) من خلال الإقامات الفنية والعروض واللقاءات والمحاضرات، حول المسرح والرقص والفنون الحيّة والتأليف المسرحي والهندسة المعمارية والمسرح العلاجي والتربية والسياسات الثقافية؛ في محاولة لتأمين فضاء للتبادل العملي والتفكير النقدي حول تلك الممارسات. جاء "استديو زقاق" تجسيداً لهذا الفضاء الذي فتح أبوابه في الـ 2008 فقد خدماته كمساحة تستقبل تمارين وتدريبات الفنانين المحلّيين دون مقابل مادي من جهة، وبجانب آخر كبكونه "مطبخ" لكافة مشاريع فرقة زقاق.

Mission and Objectives: 
  • Produce theatrical and performing arts creations
  • Support local creations in performing arts
  • Provide theatre lessons to adult and children  
  • Lead psycho- social theatre interventions through practical actions within communities in emergency situations and marginalized fractions of the society
  • Develop an environment of dialogue around performing arts practices and a space for sharing related skills and knowhow through a network of diverse practitioners, by organizing residencies, encounters, open studios, workshops with artists from Lebanon and abroad
  • Develop a theoretical and practical framework in drama-therapy and ensure knowledge transfer to social workers through “train the trainer” programs.
  • Perform training and workshops for performing arts students and practitioners.
  • Deliver trainings to educators using theatre as a mediation technique
Main Projects / Activities: 

Zoukak - Theatre Company and Cultural Association – was created in 2006 in order to develop a platform in theatre and performing arts, a channel of social change, in a country that lacks adequate public cultural and social policies.

Since 2008, following its will to promote a theatre and performing art culture in Lebanon for both the public and the practitioners, Zoukak opened “Zoukak Studio”, serving as a creation, performance and workshop space with a free rehearsal and performance access for local performing artists.

Zoukak intervenes on the artistic, psychosocial and education levels. It produces theatrical work inspired from both the local and international cultural heritage and it leads psychosocial theatre interventions thanks to practical actions within communities in emergency situations and marginalized fractions of the society. It supports local creations in performing arts through providing studio time, work material and artistic counselling, develop an environment of dialogue around theatre practices and socio-cultural topics and creates a space to share related skills through residencies, encounters, open studios, workshops and discussions with artists and experts from Lebanon and abroad. It develops a theoretical and practical framework in drama-therapy and ensures knowledge transfer through “train the trainer” programs. It provides theatre lessons to adults and children and performs trainings and workshops for students and practitioners.

Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association is…
…A 24 hour-long repertoire of theatre performances;
…30 hours of public theatre performances led and created with various participants across Lebanon and abroad;
…50 workshops in Zoukak Studio with artists from Lebanon and around the world
…300 workshops done with more than 9000 women, men, youth and children across Lebanon, in war afflicted areas, schools, prisons, rehabilitation centres for mental and physical disabilities, refugee camps, shelters and support centres for migrant workers and women subjected to domestic violence;
…100 trainings of trainers on social, psycho-social and drama therapy tools and education through theatre across Lebanon with more than 3000 educators, animators, social workers and psychologists;
…54 cities around the world, 60 schools and 40 villages across Lebanon, 10 Palestinian camps and gatherings;
…more than 50 partners and collaborators of local and international cultural structures and NGOs, in addition to many individuals

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?: 

In Lebanon, Zoukak can participate in the sharing of experiences between other local cultural actors ( tools and skills).

We believe that connecting with other local and international actors is essential, especially in the cultural field. Zoukak has been very active in bringing to Lebanon diverse cultural actors to exchange experiences and contribute to the diversification of the cultural scene in Lebanon. 

Zoukak has access to diverse communities and target group within their psychosocial work throughout Lebanon (including with Palestinian and Syrian communities).

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?: 

Zoukak would also be interested in taking part of events of the ALF networks community. We would like to meet with other local partners with similar visions, and be in contact with other actors in the Mediterranean region to be informed about their projects and connect with them to create potential collaborations.

We believe that art and social work are connected and we practice this connection in our work, hence for us being part of ALF networks, which gathers both aspects of our work, seems like a continuation of our engagement.

This would be a great opportunity for Zoukak, and we are very much looking forward being part of the ALF Network, especially after Zoukak was awarded the ALF Euro-Med Award.

Additional Information: