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Witness
Wan Smol Bag
A theater group aims to break down taboos and social problems common on Vanuatu Islands.
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2009 06:26 GMT

Watch part two

Filmmaker: Veronica McCarthy

When you see the words 'Wan Smol Bag' written down they do not seem to make much sense. But said by a Pacific Islander they become crystal clear.

Wan Smol Bag is a theater company on the Islands of Vanuatu.

Tourists see a tropical and happy paradise but turn the postcard over and you will find a different Vanuatu.

Many of the Islanders live in slums, they face unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, a worrying HIV infection rate and domestic violence. 

They don't have access to clean water and hospitals, health care, electricity and infrastructure.  

The average age for these Islanders is 23 but few can read or write, and even fewer own radios or televisions.

Which is why the Wan Smol Bag theater company is such an effective means of communication. 

They weave strong social messages into their plays to educate as well as to entertain. And now they are turning their attention to health and environmental issues, too.

Filmmaker Veronica McCarthy met the man behind the company and some of the actors were pulling some surprising tricks out of Wan Smol Bag.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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