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Exploring the effectiveness of theatre for peace building in glocal conflicts

Millicent Ahupa


Conflict is an inevitable phenomenon in any human society because humans are driven by varied ideologies, interests and positions, which might  clash time and again. Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, Nigeria has witnessed many conflicts and violence fostered by issues of identity, citizenship and participation in national dispensations. The worst case scenario in this expression is the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009. Conflict in Nigeria has thrived mainly because the approaches adopted to address conflict have been inadequate and unsuitable. This article adopts the Participatory Theory to discuss the effectiveness of applying more subtle approaches such as the Theatre-for-Development (TfD) framework for peace building in Nigeria today. It focuses on the conflict between herders and farmers in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Plateau State and the experimentation of the TfD framework to facilitate dialogue and reconciliation between herders and farmers and presentsqualitative data to this effect. The paper concludes that conflict and conflict related issues can be addressed without the use of force.Therefore, TfD is the alternative strategy for entrenching peace and building inclusive societies. The study recommends that the Theatrefor-Development framework is pertinent for peace building as it is an investment in humans, both physically and psychologically towards reconciliation and durable peace. It also recommends that there is the need for capacity building within government agencies to improve their fundamental  understanding of conflict related issues and enhance their ability to contribute to just and lasting solutions.

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eISSN: 2449-1179
print ISSN: 2006-1838