Anti-sectarianism project takes a bow

There is no place in a modern society for any form of sectarianism.
There is no place in a modern society for any form of sectarianism.

The Citizens Theatre’s highly-successful Divided City project tackling sectarianism comes to an end next month, having engaged 20,000 young people in its message of friendship and tolerance.

First performed in 2011, the project received support from the Scottish Government’s Safer Communities Tackling Sectarianism fund and has been delivered to schools in Glasgow and Renfrewshire.

In each area, denominational and non-denominational schools have worked together in pairs, with Primary 7 classes spending 10 weeks rehearsing the play based on the award-winning novel by Theresa Breslin. During this time they have also undertaken additional classroom sessions exploring sectarianism and its effects on their community.

The production is one of a kind, as director, Guy Hollands explains: “Religious intolerance and sectarianism are issues that continue to affect young people in Scotland today. Through this project, we’ve seen tangible shifts in attitudes from audiences and participants far exceeding our expectations.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said of the project:“Sectarianism, and other forms of prejudice and hatred, should have no place in a modern, progressive country such as Scotland. Over the last few years I have been hugely impressed with the arts-based work which has been particularly effective in articulating the mindless suffering caused by sectarian bigotry.

“Divided City has been a fantastic project which has been delivered to challenge sectarian attitudes and behaviours. The project served it’s purpose well.”