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Part of social safety awareness is to engage and stimulate the conversation about social safety. One of the means we use for this is to perform theater and discussion program #MeTooAcademia: The Learning Curve on every campus by Het Acteursgenootschap (‘The Dutch Actors Society’). The goal is to raise awareness of harassment, unwelcome behaviour and social (in)safety in academia while at the same time exploring ways to address problems. The Learning Curve provides an opportunity to discuss the issue and use the resulting insights to address it appropriately.

About The Learning Curve

The play The Learning Curve illustrates socially unsafe situations in academia that revolve around a skewed balance of power, harassment, the role of the supervisor, integrity, bullying, the trivialisation of knowledge, and sexually unacceptable behaviour (view the trailer for more information). In the play, various uncomfortable situations are portrayed that cross a border either explicitly or implicitly. These situations offer a starting point for the sharing of experiences within the faculty and to reflect on behaviour and culture. A discussion about this will follow the performance of the play.

The Learning Curve has by now been performed at various Dutch universities, as well as at the Landelijk Netwerk Vrouwelijke Hoogleraren (Dutch Network of Women Professors) and at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The play has a duration of 40 minutes and will be performed in English.

When and for whom?

In the fall of 2021 academic staff, OBP and PhD students were cordially invited to attend the play and to take part in the post-performance discussion, in which we talked about what the play brings to the fore for us and how we as a faculty, UvA or academic workplace can improve the way in which we offer a safe working and studying environment. The play was performed at the Faculties FNWI, AUC, FEB, FdR, FMG, FGw.

We will inform you about upcoming performances as soon as more is known. In 2022, another performance will be organised for ACTA, AMC, executive staff and shared service units (perhaps slightly modified).

Long-awaited performances

Performances of the play The Learning Curve were actually scheduled in April and October 2020 by the Social Safety Task Force. These were cancelled due to the tightened corona measures in place at the time. In the final report, the Social Safety Taskforce recommended that the performances with a follow-up discussion and introduction of the Dean and the Executive Board, be organized at a later date on all campuses.

More information about social safety at the UvA: