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Juveniles in conflict with the law perform in the theatre play based on their life stories

© UNICEF Montenegro / 2009
Juveniles in conflict with the law perform at the Centre Ljubovic in Podgorica

PODGORICA, December 2009 -  "It was important to show people that we are same like other children, that we have same thoughts, same feelings and that we know what we are doing" said 14 year old girl, one of the actors in the theatre play "On both right and wrong track.".

"People live and they make mistakes, we are not different from others. It was good to share our life stories and experiences", she said adding that she would like to continue working on this project.

 The Theatre Play "On both right and wrong track" is part of UNICEF Montenegro initiative to support comprehensive juvenile justice system reform. The idea for the project came as a result of a series of discussions with UNICEF Montenegro Office and the theatre director Petar Pejaković, who has long and extensive experience in theatre work with socially excluded and marginalized groups.

© UNICEF Montenegro / 2009
Petar Pejakovic, director of the theatre play "On the right and wrong track"

"Through multimedia workshops, which are primarily of a self-reflective character, a scenic/drama material was generated and used to set a theatre play as an end result of the whole process. Therefore, true life stories of workshop participants were used to create a script of the theatre play. Concept of the play is based on an intimate (direct) approach and as comprehensive as possible communication between audience and performers," said Pejakovic.

The process was primarily directed at work with group of about 10 – 12 children from state semi-open educational institution Centre for Children and Youth Ljubovic, but also included the Centre’s staff and a group of assistant artists. Children situated in the Centre were enabled to use extra-institutional and specially designed programmes and methodologies of work through artistic workshops.

"The involvement of all these groups in a six months long project had very positive impact on the results of the whole project", said Ana Vukovic, UNICEF Juvenile Justice Assistant.

"The premiere of the play was held with a great success on 3rd December 2009 at the Centre for Children and Youth Ljubovic. Among others, the premiere was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Justice, the Delegation of the European Union, UNICEF Montenegro, and Montenegrin arts community, all of whom were impressed by the achieved results and children’s commitment and talents," Vukovic

Several repetitions of the play took place over the course of couple of months.

Juvenile Justice System Reform Project with its aim to protect and promote the rights of children at risk and children in conflict with law is being implemented by UNICEF in cooperation with the Government of Montenegro (Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare), with the financial assistance from the European Union (Delegation of the European Commission to Montenegro).

Story by Momir Krivacevic



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