Two tales of my dying neighbours
in Precarious spectatorship
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This chapter explores the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015 and beyond, in a discussion of the relationship between the spectator and the ‘other’. Drawing on two theatrical case studies – Vanishing Point’s (2016) The Destroyed Room and Zinnie Harris’ (2015) How to Hold Your Breath, I suggest ways in which live performance can respond to the erasure of humanity that is often practised upon the refugee in the circulation of images. One chief strategy is through storytelling, an art-form that relies upon personal interaction and privileges experience over information. This chapter also applies Bernard Stiegler’s theory of ‘spiritual misery’ to performance analysis, and concludes with a discussion of the dangers of building a visual economy on the destruction of the face of the other.

Precarious spectatorship

Theatre and image in an age of emergencies


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