Holocaust and Education: Working theatrically with Janusz Korczak’s pedagogy
Haralambos Baltas, teacher, Greece
Fotini Papariga, French and German language teacher, Greece
Katerina Alexiadi, Greek language and literature teacher, theatre theoretician, teacher of C. Orff music pedagogy, cultural administrator, Greece
2,5 hour workshop
Part of the 2018 ATHENS GREECE INTERNATIONAL THEATRE/DRAMA & EDUCATION CONFERENCE
organised by the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network (TENet-Gr)
This workshop is designed for teachers who wish to work with their class on the Holocaust theme. All the material of this workshop has been produced by the Educational team “Skasiarhio” (Play truant). The “Skasiarhio” team continues its interventions inside and outside schools, by producing new material concerning the Holocaust. An initial idea was realized by using the educational material accompanyingworkshops for David Craig’s play “Who’s doctor Korczak?”(PortaTheater,2015). We attempted a first version of the workshop during the 4th Anti-fascist Festival of Performing Arts (Embros Theater, 2016). Our work was based on the analysis of this teacher’s journals (translated by PhotiniPapariga). We used these journals as material to create different perspectives (resistance, collaboration, refugeeism, children’s rights) on the life and work of the Polish teacher. The journals’ phrases are voiced by different persons, in order to render the confusion, the polyphony, the shifting perspective and the final choice of critical reflection. Four teams were set, in order to create a rhetoric debate: the teacher’s mask is the central figure, which asks the teams about the perspectives, speaks with them and chooses the historically best. We recently collaborated with Alpha Theater for the Korczak play “King Matt the first” (adapted by AlkiZei). We also translated (together with Helena Molasiote and Sotiris Pantazis) Tagore’s play “The post office” (1914), which was presented by Korzcak and his students in the summer of 1942, a few hours before Treblinka. Our educational team also channels Andrzej Wajda’s rare film “Korczak”, which features extracts from this play. We plan to connect this play with an older project of ours and produce a new workshop on the paradoxical child’s right to die- one of the fundamental children’s rights, according to Janusz Korczak. Beata Zulkievic and George Moschos have participated since 2012 in our workshops, in our attempt to spread this teacher’s ideas. This thought was held timely by the 2014 event dedicated to the Holocaust teacher and organized by Skasiarhio and the Children’s Ombudsman. Moreover, Beata Zulkievic recently translated The Child’s Right to Respect (2017), part of which will be used in the workshop, too. Finally, our team will publish before long a book connecting Janusz Korczak with Celestin Freinet, in the context of the institutional pedagogy.
Haralambos Baltas is a teacher in the 35th Primary school of Athens, a PhD candidate at the University of Athens and a writer in the Education and Society journal (2015-2018). He was an editor in the Children’s Friendships newspaper (2008-2014) and in the political magazine Stigma (2001-2010) and a columnist in the scientific journal Modern Education (2010-2012). He was responsible for the Health Education in the 1st Directorate for Primary Education of Athens (2010-2012). He is board member of the Athens Children’s Protection Society (2016-2018) and chairman of the Educational team “Skasiarxeio (Play truant) - Experimental Fumbles for a Community School”. Ηe has co-edited the book Celestin Freinet, Institutional and Critical Pedagogy (Colleagues’ Editions, Athens 2017).
Fotini Papariga has a first-class degree in French and German from the National University of Athens and a Master of Arts in Translation and Translatology. In 2012, she completed her PhD from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on the theme “Nanos Valaoritis: Unmédiateurd’impacts.” (NanosValaoritis: an impact mediator). Since 2002 she has been working as a French teacher in the public secondary education. She is currently involved in translation and literature review. She has worked with various publishing houses (Kedros, Sokolis, Mandragoras, Govostis). Her reviews have been published in various magazines (Mandragoras, DIA-KEIMENA, Piitiki, ThemataLogotechnias, Eneken, Poetix, Contact+, OdosPanos).
Katerina Alexiadi graduated from the Department of Philosophy and Pedagogy of the University of Crete. She holds an MA in Theatre Studies- Musicology of the University of Athens/Theatre Studies Department and an MA in Cultural Management of Panteion University in the Department of Communication, Media and Culture. She is also a PhD candidate in the same Department. She has followed the two years course of Music and Movement Education Orff-Schulwerk offered by Moraitis School. She has studied classical singing, harmony of music and classical and contemporary dance. She has participated in theater and dance performances. She has worked with theatre groups for children and she has organized theatre performances. She has been a member of the Organisation Committee and speaker in International Conferences. She is a secondary school Language teacher in the Experimental Musical High School of Pallini. From September 2014 she is Cultural Project Coordinator in the Directorate of Secondary Education of Eastern Attica. She is a member of the editing committee of the “Education & Theatre” Journal, of Hellenic Theatre/Drama Education Network, of the Greek Orff-Schulwerk Association and of the Educational Group “To Scasiarxeio”.