The Smile Project

What is this project all about?

Even if the attitude towards happiness of the Western and African culture might differ, the way of expressing it remains the same: Laughing, smiling, showing teeth. The Smile Project is based exactly on these common characteristics: What makes you laugh? When was the last time you cracked up laughing? What makes you happy?

Over a three-week period we will offer a Theatre Experience School in Livingstone / Zambia for about 40 vulnerable children and young adults, giving workshops in dance, music and theatre. With professional support of theatre facilitators and musicians they will be dealing with social and philosophical questions about happiness and thereby start to set their creativity free: In the theatre workshop they can perform scenic debates of daily moments of happiness, in the music workshops they try to answer the question of how you can transform happiness, luck and laughter into music. The same is possible for dance: How can you translate good feelings and memories into movement?

The created pieces and results of the children will be presented on a festival, The Smile Festival, at the end of the project and will be discussed in open workshops with the public. Afterwards the artistic pieces can be presented in different contexts and can be used for example for presentation on other theatre stages or for workshops and discussions on happiness in schools and other institutions of education.

In addition to offering a platform for creative practice, The Smile Project aims to create a space for intercultural dialogue, wants to look out for cultural similarities and cultural encounters of European and African theatre work and aesthetics.