Contact has teamed up with Greater Manchester Police and two Manchester schools to create a play that helps pupils understand honour based abuse, Not In My Honour, by Aisha Zia (Common Wealth) . Watch the video trailer here
GMP have commissioned Contact’s Creative Experts to work with Levenshulme High School and Manchester Grammar School to create the play, Not in my Honour.
Not in my Honour explores practices that can include forced marriage as well as dowry abuse, child marriage and many other types of abuse. Referred to as ‘honour-based abuse’, these practices cut across all cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities and transcend national and international boundaries. Working with around 20 pupils from each school, Contact’s Creative Experts have created the play to be used as a teaching resource for teachers across the country. Ten scenes long, the play can be studied as a whole or in sections.
Pupils aged 14 to 16 were involved in the creation of the play, which involved exploring honour based abuse in different forms, from family acceptance of transsexuality to forced marriage. This type of abuse can be used to control behaviour within families to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or ‘honour’. This can lead to violence when it is felt that an individual has broken the ‘honour’ code and brought shame on their family or community by way of their actions.
GMP works to tackle and raise awareness of different types of honour based abuse including holding events at the airport to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation, marking a remembrance day for victims of honour based abuse and taking part in a Channel 4 documentary on forced marriage.
The play text will be used by Greater Manchester Police as a resource for schools and professionals working with young people to explore issues around honour based abuse. The piece sensitively explores some of the most challenging and difficult issues a young person can face, but is also a positive and uplifting call for tolerance and understanding.
The text widens out the issue of honour crime to include gender, identity and young people’s human rights in a way that enables audiences to reflect on the themes and see the resonances with their own lives, whatever their own background or life experience. As with much great theatre, the piece is also a call to action, to engage in the world, to think and act differently, to spread empathy, to be brave.
Now that the play has been launched, the script and other materials will be placed on the GMP website for anyone wishing to use it to download for free.
Thanks to the pupils of Levenshulme High School and Manchester Grammar School who have worked with the Contact Creative Experts and Aisha Zia to develop the text, as well as rehearsing under the guidance of Contact's Creative Experts to develop two distinct performances of the play.
Contact is core funded by Arts Council England, AGMA, Manchester City Council and The University of Manchester.