Advanced Studies

Due to the consequences of Covid 19 and its unpredictable consequences, we unfortunately had to cancel the CAS Performance Arts in Conflict Zones.

As soon as we have a better understanding of the course of the pandemic, we will set new dates. However, we expect the CAS to take place in late autumn 2020. 

Please write to us if you would like more detailed information. We will keep you updated.

All the best and stay healthy

Team Formazione Continua ATD


Certificate of Advanced Studies(CAS) in Performing Arts Practice in Conflict Zones


In a globalized world in which the consequences of violence war and discrimination have become an integral part of our lives politics is created with angst demarcation and isolation determining everyday life. The CAS Performing Arts Practice in Conflict Zones offers an opportunity to open new spaces of reflection and action.

It is aimed at professional artists from Europe as well as from the Kurdish areas in Iraq and Syria who want to bring their performing arts practice in local and international conflict and crisis zones.

The CAS shares tools for initiating sustainable projects that strengthen solidarity and emancipatory processes within a society.

It enables the participants to reflect on themselves and on their work as creative artists supporting cultural initiatives to deal with gender justice with one’s own privileges and to examine one’s view of inequality and power relations.


The CAS imparts basic knowledge of how theatre professionals without therapeutic knowledge can become more confident in dealing with the consequences of violence and trauma.


The CAS is practice-oriented conceived in direct artistic collaboration with people and artists of different origins as a place of exchange creation and practical experience and sees itself as an exploration of a new form of concretely applied inter- and transculturality.


The CAS consists of three parts:

The first part takes place with the European participants* in Verscio at Accademia Teatro Dimitri (ATD) and covers a period of 5 days with different lecturers on the work in local and international crisis and conflict areas on the consequences of trauma and war and the preparation for the second part.

With the Kurdish participants* in the Kurdish regions.


The second part takes place in the Kurdish regions of Northern Iraq. The European participants will work together with the Kurdish participants in a school with about 120 young people.

The school is located in a refugee camp which is almost completely managed by the refugees themselves. A joint performance concludes the program.


The third part takes place in Verscio at Accademia Teatro Dimitri (ATD) and is dedicated to the evaluation and reflection or demonstration/help of own projects. (dates on inquiry)


Requirements for participation

- completed training and practice in the performing arts field

- solidarity with the political ideas of an area in reconstruction

- stable personality and reflected behavior and sensibility towards a crisis region

- willingness to respect one’s own safety  that of the troop and the local population

- valid passport

Verscio (Switzerland) 21.—25.4.2020

Kurdish regions of Northern Iraq 19.5—3.6.2020

LecturersAnina Jendreyko > theatre director, Maria Zemp > trauma counselling. Claudia Berger > sociologist activist

LanguagesEnglish German Kurdish


Costs3500- CHF

Included: teaching courses in Verscio and in Northern Iraq and accommodation in Northern Iraq

Not included: Flights and accommodation in Verscio

Scholarships: Are in rare cases available upon request

The CAS is developed in collaboration with the Goethe Institute Iraq and the Swiss Center of ITI (International Theatre Institute).


Title: Module 1


Teacher: Anina Jendreyko

Lecturer: Maria Zemp; Claudia Berger

Location: Verscio

Date from / to: April 21-25, 2020

Space: ATD

Responsible for the course: Daniel Bausch




Learning Objectives:


The critical questioning of power and gender relationships. Basic knowledge of trauma-sensitive work. A practical approach to dealing with the consequences of violence and war. Insight into the concrete work of and with refugees. Preparation of the journey.


Content of the course:


Culture is not a static state, but a process that is closely linked to power relations, their changes, and various social influences. A collective creative and artistic theater work in local and international conflict and crisis areas requires the awareness of one’s own objectives, motivations, and positions.


A power-critical attitude is crucial to recognizing inequality and discrimination. We deal with the historical and political frameworks that have created and still maintain the imbalance of power, and critically examine colonialism and today’s concepts of “development”, “development policy”, “development aid”, and volunteer engagements. This also includes the question of how to deal with gender inequality. How does this shape relationships in the ensemble, in the group, in the private sphere, and in a foreign context?


For two days we will examine the consequences of violence and trauma. The aim will be a critical reflection of the causes of trauma and their consequences in a socio-political context and transferring the basic principles of a stress- and trauma-sensitive attitude into a work- and life-context.


One full day will be dedicated to the asylum system. Between admission, lack of perspective, and deportation, people live in camps, in emergency structures, and as “undocumented”.


An overview of the asylum-law conditions and their practical implementation together with experiences of persons seeking asylum will critically introduce us to the current developments. We want to unravel the complexity of the asylum topic and reflect on our own positions and options for action.


Another point is the handling of body and voice exercises in other cultures:

How can the body encounter stress and trauma?

What can be recognized and expressed through the body? How can this be translated artistically? We will work out context-related physical exercises and an individual “emergency kit” with different exercises that can be used depending on the situation, both at the level of theater work and at the level of trauma-sensitive work.


This module is also preparation for the trip to the Kurdish region / northern Iraq. Participants must ask themselves: “With what attitude do I go into local and international conflict and crisis areas and how can I develop an awareness of the environment and the consequent conditions?” The forthcoming on-site work that we present will be informed by the history of the people living in the refugee camp and their current living conditions.

Title: Module 2


Teacher: Anina Jendreyko

Location: Kurdish region

Date from / to: May 19th – June 3rd, 2020

Space: School Maxmur

Responsible for the course: Daniel Bausch




Learning Objectives:


In a self-managed refugee camp in the Kurdish region / North Iraq, in cooperation with the Kurdish people we will work with the participants (artists) with about 120 young people between 12 and 18 years (pupils of the school in the camp). The different perspectives and experiences of the course participants from the south and north will flow directly into the concrete rehearsal work and support the self-reflection process.


Content of the course:


The first three days:

Meeting between Kurdish and European participants.


In order to lay the groundwork for a basis of trust in the future rehearsal work, the clarification of one’s own cultural development and an awareness of one’s own starting position are important.

The goal is to create an inspiring and open rehearsal process where everyone can engage with their diversity and move as freely as possible.


Relations in intercultural work are often characterized by status and legal inequity, a wealth gap, and projections. We work to realize this – instead of labeling it taboo and minimizing it – and finding ways to reduce the power gap and to “tolerate” the differences without actively using them.


We deal with different kinds of personal discrimination (intersectionality) – age, ability, gender, social class, race, wealth – and we become aware of the causes.


The confrontation (theoretical, practical, theatrical) with racism, the handling of resources and employment relationships, (our) western footprint in the world, and the view (orientation, behavior) from the south to the north, are also part of the discussion.


The next eleven days:

Beginning of the rehearsal phase with the adolescents


A mixed bi-continental  team (Kurdish-European) will work on a theater project with a group of about 20 young people. Every day there is room for sharing and reflection.

Is it possible to practice empathy and how can contradictions be endured? How can the different aesthetic viewpoints / artistic forms combine with each other or stimulate each other? Is it possible to let go of / change the tools to measure success and open up to new possibilities or do previous aesthetic guidelines provide the benchmark for artistic quality?


We will explore the questions of the difference between determining, directing, and enabling theater work. How can a creative process be unleashed on the young, how can imagination be inspired and developed, and how can individuals be empowered while simultaneously holding the group responsible? How can amateur actors and performers exploit their full potential in public performances and how can the pitfalls be circumvented, used for an artistic concept, exhibited, or delivered to the public unprotected?


We will utilize language mediators (translators) to aid in communication, and also learn how to communicate without a common language.


From the various group projects, we will develop a common narrative arc in which the different aesthetic forms, narratives, and visual elements find their space – and connect the work of different teams together. This will conclude with a joint public performance in the camp.

Title: Module 3


Teacher: Anina Jendreyko

Location: Switzerland (to be determined)

Date from / to: To be determined

Space: To be determined

Responsible for the course: Daniel Bausch




Learning Objectives:


Reflection of the trip / work as well as offering / discussing concrete possibilities for future theater projects.


Content of the course:


What is my understanding of being an initiator / director of an artistic work / theater work in national and international crisis areas?



The practice-based work and the mutual learning and support process between the participants from Europe and the participants from the Kurdish areas dominates throughout the CAS. We work with: improvisation, scene work, theoretical inputs, bodywork and physical exercises, discussion and exchange, self-reflection, and practicing mindfulness to strengthen self-awareness.


Anina Jendreyko: project manager in Switzerland and the Kurdish regions.

Director, actress, lecturer at various universities – e.g. ZHAW, ZHdK, FHNW; artistic director of the Volksbühne Basel. Many years of work experience in the Kurdish regions and local and international conflict and crisis areas.


Claudia Berger: Verscio-based guest lecturer on work with refugees in Switzerland and the Kurdish areas; production-assistant.


Beritan Kara: production-assistant in the 2nd Module in the camp together with Claudia Berger.


Maria Zemp: Verscio-based guest lecturer for trauma counseling.


The Advanced Studies programs at the Accademia Teatro Dimitri are designed as pathways to accompany theatre performers, as well as professionals of various fields searching for new perspectives, in exploring the expressive and dramaturgical potential of physical theatre (and related arts such as clowning, dance, circus arts, etc.) and in specialization through practice and reflection in various acting and performative disciplines.


Head of Advanced Studies:

Daniel Bausch

Francesca Marcacci,, +41 58 666 67 50

Click here to apply! (in italian only)