What is Dafa?
Dafa was initiated in 2009 in Jordan to reach Palestinian refugees communities in Jordan. In 2015 Husam Abed, a theatre director and puppeteer, with his wife, a puppeteer and stage designer, Reka Deak co-founded Dafa Puppet Theatre, a theatre company based in the city of Prague in Czechia.
Dafa sees theatre as a public practice, inviting members of the community, after giving them the techniques and tools to express and address issues and concerns that face their community. Theatre then becomes not about entertainment only, but a way of self-expression and the glue that binds the community together.
Dafa yearns to spread puppet art, to promote theatre in education and awareness, to challenge stereotypes and to connect people through theatre.
Dafa is an Arabic word that means warmth.
Dafa is in the warmth of an invitation extended to every child, youth and adult to imagine, dream, act, and give the best of their potential towards the betterment of their communities.
Dafa is the opposite of isolation and alienation. It is what resists when human rights are violated; when education and health are not provided; when lands are stolen, and when water and air are exploited. A puppet resists; Puppet Theatre is freedom.
Dafa creates theatre performances with the community, establishes theatre groups of children, youth and adults. Dafa supports the professional development of artists and amateur puppeteers. Dafa provides skills and specialized programs for educators and social workers. Dafa also collaborates with artists and professionals from multidisciplinary fields to explore new possibilities and methods in the art and craft of object/puppet theatre. Dafa creates puppet performances for children and adults, designs specialized workshops, provides training, consultancy services, organizes art residencies, festivals, assists the educational sector and produces publications and material on the subject of puppetry in the Arab world and Europe.