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Cultural events

There are many ways of using the arts in a campaign. Images, theatre, song and dance engage audiences through their aesthetic and emotional appeal, thus making the message more visible and memorable. For example, a story teller could transform the campaign message into a gripping narrative, or a singer may present a campaign song with an easy-to-remember melody. Staging colorful cultural displays are also an effective way to attract media attention. Co-operate with local artists so as to make sure the product is both faithful to the campaign message and adapted to local taste.

Cultural events are especially effective in communities that have a tradition of local public performance (street-theatre, singing festivals, etc). Large numbers of people can be reached at such events, and the sense of community participation created can be helpful in reinforcing campaign messages, and gaining supporters for the campaign.

 

Example: The “Vagina Monologues” written by Eve Ensler is an award-winning play that has been used by activists around the world to generate public attention for violence against women and girls. The provocative play has captured extensive media coverage, thus generating further interest in its subject and bringing on board policy makers at the highest levels.

The play’s success has spawned the “V-Day movement” which raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of the Vagina Monologues and other artistic work in countries around the world. The funds have been used to support more than 700 anti-violence networks and organizations that support VAW survivors, most recently (2010) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The trailer to the documentary “Until the Violence Stops” shows how the play has worked in various contexts. 

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