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Witness
Birds of Paradise
Colombian women set up a theatre group and use acting to ease the strain of living.
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2010 10:26 GMT

Filmmaker: Claudia Bermudez

Colombia is second only to Sudan in terms of its number of internally displaced people, with between two and four million internal refugees caught in the country's political riptides and often left to languish in slums and shanty towns.

This burgeoning population is frequently made up primarily of women. They are often victims of violence, whether from the guerrilla group FARC or from opposing para-military forces, and they are forced to flee with few resources and even less support.

But in Cali, Colombia's third largest city, one group of women is forging a new path.

The women are striving not only to fend for themselves, but to move beyond core survival and to express their new reality through their performance – the theatre group 'Birds of Paradise'.

They write, stage and protagonise their own plays. In their plays, full of music, dance and traditional chants, they reflect on what happened to them and what is happening today in their lives.

Birds of Paradise can be seen from Tuesday, March 30, at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 0830, 1900; Wednesday: 0330, 1400, 2330.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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