Sruti Bala
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On the inconvenient means and ends of participation
in The gestures of participatory art
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This chapter investigates the assumptions around impact in relation to participatory art, as well as the critical and methodological challenges of thinking them together. It focuses on a number of debates in theatre and performance scholarship pertaining to assessing and evaluating impact in relation to the question of participation. The chapter offers a number of points of orientation and aspects to take into consideration when undertaking a study of theatre's impact. Two characteristics of Teatro Siluetas are pertinent in relation to the question of impact and participation: the choice of the organizational form of a collective and the foregrounding of a lesbian subjectivity in the artistic practice. The chapter describes the problem of aggregation that is the relationship between participatory art and its social impact in terms of a spectrum of various levels of intensity of participation.

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