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SUSS! – Icelandic Radio Programmes

RaTaTam together with the Drama Department of Iceland National Broadcasting Service (RÚV) proudly presents three-part radio documentary programmes based on the SUSS! production in order to bring awareness about domestic violence issues to a wider audience.

SUSS is a piece about domestic violence made from 200 hours of video interviews with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Since 2016, when the interviews were made, nothing less than a revolution has happened in Iceland. The police in Reykjavik started a project in 2016 they call „Lets keep the window open“. The basic of that project is that everyone who works around domestic violence are informed, when ever the police has to interfere. So the social service, the rehab centers and psychologists working for the municipality involved and children‘s welfare committees are all involved from start to finish.

This has completely changed the environment in Iceland and institutions who had little or no contact or information sharing before  – now they all collaborate. The Government runs a Children house, where children who suffer from any kind of abuse are brought and can get every service they could possibly need on one place. Reykjavik City, Akureyri Town and the Government, opened up Bjarkarhlið in Reykjavik and Bjarmahlið in Akureyri in 2016. They basically run on the same concept as the Children house, but are for adults who have suffered any kind of abuse. All the service you need in one place, and everybody talking, working together and sharing information.

There is also a whole new wave of looking at each and everyone with a kind heart and open mind, and instead of shaming people who abuse or are abused, we help them work on traumas they have most of the time carried with them since childhood. We even have an institution called Peaceful Home (Heimilisfriður) which is a group of psychologists who dedicates their services to perpetrators of domestic violence, subsidized by the Government.

On top of all of this we had the #metoo along with many others of similar nature which shook the society and turned it on its heads.

Since 2018 RaTaTam takes part in European Cooperation project „Shaking the Walls“ co-financed by the Creative Europe Programme of European Union. The project is about identifying different kinds of real and metaphoric walls that divide people nowadays and disable contact and communication. The idea is to identify such barriers in each country and transform it artistically to bring up to shared European awareness. RaTaTam creative input in the project is the idea behind the SUSS! performance – to bring up the problem of domestic violence to public awareness. Moreover, the presentations of the production is combined with educational programme and, in order to reach substantially wider audience, three-part radio programme is broadcasted in cooperation with Drama Department of Iceland National Broadcasting Service (RÚV) in October and November 2020.

The focus of the programs is to understand the revolution that has happened in the past 4 years in Iceland. Learn about all those new solutions and institutions that can aid those in need. To learn about new psychological methods to help people deal with traumas and get a valuable and good life back. To try to use how much the discussion has opened up in Iceland about those delicate matters to open it up even further. To get men who have suffered from sexual abuse to talk (which men in Iceland are not likely to do). To try to get perpetrators to talk openly about their abusive behavior.  To try to get the people of Iceland to be more compassionate towards perpetrators. To show the opportunities for professional help which are there and find solutions that work.

All of the experts that are going to be on our panel after each performance, are featuring in the radio programs. We have already got some breakthrough interviews with perpetrators and male victims of sexual abuse, as well as interviews with the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Welfare.

Gudmundur Thorvaldsson and Halldóra Rut Baldursdóttir, members of Ratatam host and edit the shows. Other members act and work on music for the shows.

The shows will be aired on Saturday the 26th of October, the 2nd of November and the 9th of Novemeber, at 14:00. The radio programmes will precede the theatre presentations of SUSS! performance which start in 16th of November.

Shaking The Walls

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