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International virtual theatre project for people of determination in the UAE, Spain and Mexico to hit stage Wednesday

On November 25th 2020, 30 people of determination from the UAE, Spain and Mexico take the (virtual) stage telling stories about their approach to life.

This experimental theatre project connects verbal and non-verbal actors with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism, ADHD and other impairments through one of the most ancient and ubiquitous cultural medium clay. A diverse group of people living in residential homes in the UAE, Special Olympics Athletes from Mexico and actors from Spain worked over weeks online on this virtual theatre piece.

MUD, itis a project developed by PALADIO ARTE (Spain) at the request of the Embassy of Spain in the United Arab Emirates in collaboration of key stakeholders from the three countries, is an open invitation to re-learn the way of seeing People of Determination by watching them instead of staring at them.

Project Partners include SEDRA Foundation for Inclusion under its Chairperson H.H. Sheikha Aljazia bint Saif Al Nahyan, in collaboration with Al Mudeef Centre/Amana HealthCare/Zayed Higher Organization and Mawaheb from the Beautiful People in Dubai. Other partners are Spanish Embassy in the UAE, Mexican Embassy in the UAE and Paladio Arte - A renown theatre and cultural institution from Segovia, Spain.

"I have the feeling, people seeing me differently when I’m in front of a camera," said Vincent, 24 years old, UAE, an actor with Down Syndrome.

The theatrical work is condensed in a video and will be shown for the very first time on 25 November at 5 pm. All artists are attending and will share their experiences in a moderated Q&A session.

The Spanish Ambassador to the UAE, Antonio Álvarez Barthe, added that: "In these complex times that we are living, we need more than ever dialogue and respect between different cultures and ways of life."

"Raising questions about the status of People of Determination in this interconnected world, their access and their power to create and to be seen and heard is at the heart of this collaboration." Renate Baur-Richter, Program Manager, SEDRA Foundation .

Objectives of the experimental theatre project: - Building up Global Citizenship in Youth of Determination - Introducing an alternative narrative to the perception of People of Determination by providing an impetus to re-examine learned reactions and interactions - Establishing self-efficacy as an essential part of social identity - Implement information processing and introduce art as a form of self-expression - This exchange and cultural exploration can lead to a better understanding of universal values and interconnectivity while increasing self-awareness and an updated perspective of the world as a whole.

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