27 July, 2020
VIRAL BY AUSTRALIA’S SHOCK THERAPY PRODUCTION- LIVE STREAM AND PANEL DISCUSSION
-Mrs. Elizabeth Soares
Viral by the Australia’s Shock Therapy Production is a theatre performance that examined the role of social media and technology. This theatre live streamed production was organized by the Pomegranate Workshop team in coordination with the Australian Consulate and was viewed by our deputed school staff working with young adults and six of our high school students on 25th July at 10.50 am live from Australia. The performance was one of its kind in theatre anywhere in the globe. It dealt with a maze of content and issues around cyber bullying, racism and gender abuse. It decoded the way we record, communicate and think about events of racism, abuse and violence.
After the live streaming of the performance, the staff and students interacted with the producers of the show in a panel discussion. It was indeed an incredible, amazing performance with limited characters, limited small budget backdrop and yet succeeded with its class performance to convey a very effective and meaningful message in the present times. The co- producer and the actors expressed how they planned and prepared the script that was based on incidences observed and experienced in present times.
During this panel discussion we also met a leading counselor from India Dr. Chetna Duggal-Associate Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Science. She is a trained psychotherapist and has worked with children, adolescents, couples and families. The queries of the participants were answered with a sense of concern towards the effects of digital exposure on children. She guided the participants with some advice and that being the need to monitor long term engagement, to attend to addiction and the lack of human contact. Some corrective measures were cited by her and that being-to have a community care group , to adopt an expressive methodology, to create dialogue, to be imaginative towards the outcome, to encourage the young to express themselves, to explain to them what is the boundary to be respected, to bring about an awareness about cyber laws and the need to seek consent and permission so that no one violates the rights of others and the need to raise the voice when something is wrong and be alert so that one can identify and address micro aggression. The panel discussion session was very productive and enriching.
The session ended with a positive message -Empower youth to self regulate themselves and this will bring a change of developing a strong and confident youth generation in the future.