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Our Vision

To empower people to be the fullest version of themselves, where participation in, rather than mastery of, the world is celebrated.

Two young people in the forground are hugging surrounded by others all laughing and smiling at them.

Image by Caroline Gervay

Image by Caroline Gervay

Our Mission

1. To create daring performances in unusual spaces, which celebrate the art of existence and creates shared spaces where the seemingly impossible becomes possible.

2. To unite communities through a process of Give & Gain, which is trail-blazing, non-hierarchical and life-affirming.

3. To bring together young people and diverse communities, who otherwise would not have opportunity to connect, and provide a platform from which to express, grow and perform.

What we do

Phakama’s approach transcends age, experience and culture. Driven by a common desire to make high quality performance, we are fuelled by the diversity of all those involved. Through a process that we call Give & Gain, learning becomes two-

A young man leans against a wall which has a map of the world hung on it. One the floor is a map mad of masking tape. Other young people are in the background.

Image by Nurull Islam

way; everyone has something they can give to the project and everyone has something to gain. And through this interchange of skills, knowledge, information and ideas,everyone becomes both student and teacher.

We are committed to the practice of cultural exchange and the celebration of shared experiences; by promoting a non-hierarchical educational philosophy through the medium of the arts and training participants to become the Phakama facilitators of the future.

Set Up in 1996 

Lots of hands are reaching up to a suitcase being carried above peoples heads

Originally launched as an arts exchange programme involving young people and arts and education practitioners, Phakama was set up in 1996 as an initiative of Lift (London International Festival of Theatre) in partnership with Sibikwa Community Theatre from Johannesburg – South Africa.

Now an independent charitable organisation based at Queen Mary University of London.

Phakama is based at Christopher France House at Queen Mary University of London and although we are an independent organisation we have a long-standing collaborative relationship with the university. We are thrilled to be firmly rooted in this great academic institution which provides quality learning for so many young people.

Phakama’s methodology of Give & Gain, our vision to make work in daring spaces and our plight to create non-elitist theatre all chime for many of the students who at different times interact with Phakama’s work.  Many young people have come through different Phakama projects as a result of enrolling on QMUL courses. And of course Phakama’s young people are able to enjoy the rich facilities and ongoing events which QMUL offer. We offer our thanks to QMUL’s School of English and Drama and further departments we have worked with for their ongoing support of Phakama and we hope that we are able to continue to Give & Gain together for many more years to come. 

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