Azerbaijan Women’s Prison
In October 2004 two members of Geese travelled to Baku, Azerbaijan to conduct a scoping visit for a project originally conceived by the British Council in Baku. The project was to be the first of its kind in the South Caucus region (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia) and to involve practitioners from Geese working alongside Azeri theatre practitioners in a women’s prison in Baku. The purpose of the project was to work with fifteen female offenders exploring issues of human rights and resettlement and was to culminate in a performance, devised and performed by the women to which an audience of Government officials, policy makers and representatives from the mass media were to be invited. The project itself took place over a period of ten days in March 2005.
The process of creation invited the women to: consider the roles that were available to them as women in Azeri society; investigate their responsibilities to society and society’s responsibilities to them; safely find a voice to discuss their feelings about imprisonment and future release. The performance they created was powerful and moving; was very well received by representatives from Government who attended and received incredible reviews from the Azeri mass media.
Geese Theatre Company worked in collaboration with theatre practitioners from Baku, with a view to them conducting the project without Geese practitioners in future years.