Open Access (free)
New perspectives on socially engaged performance

The book advances our understanding of performance as a mode of caring and explores the relationship between socially engaged performance and care. It creates a dialogue between theatre and performance, care ethics and other disciplinary areas such as youth and disability studies, nursing, criminal justice and social care. Challenging existing debates in this area by rethinking the caring encounter as a performed, embodied experience and interrogating the boundaries between care practice and performance, the book engages with a wide range of different care performances drawn from interdisciplinary and international settings. Drawing on interdisciplinary debates, the edited collection examines how the field of performance and the aesthetic and ethico-political structures that determine its relationship with the social might be challenged by an examination of inter-human care. It interrogates how performance might be understood as caring or uncaring, careless or careful, and correlatively how care can be conceptualised as artful, aesthetic, authentic or even ‘fake’ and ‘staged’. Through a focus on care and performance, the contributors in the book consider how performance operates as a mode of caring for others and how dialogical debates between the theory and practice of care and performance making might foster a greater understanding of how the caring encounter is embodied and experienced.

Open Access (free)
Fluidity and reciprocity in the performance of caring in Fevered Sleep’s Men & Girls Dance

This chapter examines Men & Girls Dance, a dance-based performance piece by Fevered Sleep that brings together a group of male professional contemporary dancers and girls who dance for fun. Through modes of performed caring and its use of carefully negotiated moments of reciprocity and interrelationalilty, the piece both foreshadows and explores some of the anxieties that proliferate the socially imagined site of the encounter between men and girls, offering care as a way of rethinking this. Drawing on the experiences of the dancers and the relationships of trust and mutual dependency that have been developed through the creative process, Men & Girls Dance establishes a playful, exploratory and exhilaratingly aesthetic, while also addressing the suspicions and anxieties that frame many quotidian exchanges between men and girls. Through a tender performance of togetherness, the performance makes visible new forms of ‘caring knowledge’ (Hamington, 2004) and repositions the dynamics of power and vulnerability that predetermine our perception of men’s encounters with girls. In so doing, in Men & Girls Dance, I argue, care becomes performed and reimagined, repositioned as something fluid, reciprocal and that ultimately emerges as a force of resistance to the restrictive discourses that shape masculinity and girlhood today. 

in Performing care

This chapter expands on the idea of ‘aesthetics of care’ laid out in Chapter 2 and argues for an ethics based on our interdependency. Rather than independence as a source of ethical ambition, it proposes an ethics that accepts interdependence as a starting point for a mutual and relational basis for a more just society. The second half of the chapter then illustrates care aesthetics through three examples of practice – a theatre game and a theatre workshop for young children by the London Bubble Theatre and a performance by Peggy Shaw, directed by Lois Weaver.

in Performing care
Constructions of self and other in parliamentary debate

Chapter 6 argues that British political debate on the proscription or banning of terrorist contribute to a process of identity formation. The process is one in which the UK self – or components thereof such as Parliament and parliamentarians – is distinguished from various terrorist others. Proscription debates – and the banning of terrorist groups – are, therefore, performative in that they confer illegitimacy on their target(s): producing particular organisations and their members as ‘unacceptable in this country’. In doing this, moreover, they (re-)produce the United Kingdom as a particular type of political entity with specific – and, very explicitly, liberal, democratic – attributes and characteristics. This sets up a relatively straightforward antagonistic relationship between, on the one hand, a liberal, open and responsible UK self which is mindful of cultural and religious difference, and both cautious and moderate in its actions. And, on the other, a series of illiberal, irrational and extremist terrorist others who remain steadfast in their determination to wage immoral violences against states such as the UK and their publics. Importantly, although there are – again – examples of genuine dissent in these debates, critics of proscription or its application tend to reproduce rather than contest this binary relationship, by appealing for the UK to be truer to its own self-identity.

in Banning them, securing us?
Historical, geographical and political dynamics

This chapter situates the British use of proscription in its international context. Our core argument is that the increasingly expansive global deployment of proscription or blacklisting powers in the contemporary period is a product both of desperate legislative responses to al Qaeda’s precipitous emergence in the late 1990s and 2000s, and – at the same time – a continuity of long-standing precedents of political control. The chapter begins by exploring the use of proscription by colonial authorities in the early twentieth century, especially in attempts to contain emancipatory movements, and the increased hardening of political processes to communism in the post-war period which involved exclusions of local communist movements across states in the global North. In its second part, the chapter sets out the prevailing proscription frameworks employed by the UN and EU along with those of a selection of important states. This, we suggest, underscores the influence of the United Kingdom’s proscription laws on other countries. In the final part of the chapter, we consider how scholars have responded to the contemporary wave of blacklisting laws. Here we engage with a range of scholarships including in law, political science and sociology to unpack prominent criticisms of proscription’s efficacy and ethics.

in Banning them, securing us?
A tough but necessary measure?

This chapter traces the historical roots of various powers which have facilitated the designation and/or exclusion of specific enemies of the state or society. This is a partly genealogical exercise in which we return to the murky origins of outlawry on the British Isles, and reflect on proscription's gradual displacement of such powers as the principal means of political exclusion. The chapter begins by exploring the importance of outlawry to early medieval society as an instrument of social control, criminal justice and monarchical power, before showing how proscription is woven throughout Parliament’s history as a means of consolidating authority: first, in the proscription of Royalists and Jacobites and then later in the prohibitions of political reformist groups in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The chapter then turns to twentieth-century expressions of proscription: first, as a means of control employed by colonial authorities; second, in response to the spectre of fascism in the 1930s and 1940s; and, third, as a precursor and reaction to the maelstrom of violence throughout the Northern Ireland conflict. The chapter ends by reflecting on the contemporary deployment of proscription under the regime introduced through the Terrorism Act 2000. Here we explore today’s proscription powers, the process of their enactment, and the manner in which proscription has unfolded since 2000. We conclude by sketching the core principles of political exclusion as these have evolved through the British state’s encounters with diverse political foes over the centuries.

in Banning them, securing us?

This chapter examines hitherto unknown sources relating to provincial popular mobilisation in support of the ‘Leveller’ agenda in 1648. One of the chief goals is to explore a little-studied phenomenon – rural support for the Leveller programme. It will do so by exploring a region, the south-west, that has been almost entirely neglected in scholarship on concerted radical political mobilisation (David Underdown, the region’s leading historian, overlooked this material, arguing that there was no discernible Leveller petitioning activity in the area). The chapter aims to work out the underlying sources of support for this agenda, and to map the connections between mobilisation in the localities and more familiar Leveller activities in London. More broadly, the chapter seeks to clarify the relationship between Leveller agitation and the broader political revolution of 1648–49. It will be demonstrated that the coalition of militant parliamentarians who supported the ‘Leveller’ agitation in the south-west was essentially coextensive with the constituency pushing for regicide and political revolution; moreover, after the regicide, this radical parliamentarian network supplied critical local infrastructure and backing for the republican and protectoral regimes of the 1650s. The chapter thus aims to explore the popular and local basis for political revolution and republicanism.

in Connecting centre and locality
Holding government to account?

Chapter 5 focuses on the types of question that are asked by politicians within parliamentary debate on the proscribing or banning of terrorist organisations. It argues that these questions help to demonstrate the legislature’s discursive role in shaping proscription’s meaning; a role that includes appealing for – and perhaps even demanding – justification, explanation, elaboration and clarification from the executive on this power’s application. The questions asked by parliamentarians therefore matter, we argue, for at least three reasons. First, they provide a significant component of the content of these debates – occupying a lot of the time taken by this ritual – and taking them seriously therefore provides a fuller understanding thereof. Second, they illustrate the importance of contestation, dispute and debate that we see as central to the proscription ritual and its performance of liberal democratic accountability. Third, these questions also have wider conceptual significance for helping us to think through the temporalities and fixedness of specific roles within security dramas, as well as the heterogeneity of participants therein.

in Banning them, securing us?
The League of Red Cross Societies, the Australian Red Cross and its Junior Red Cross in the 1920s

This chapter examines the League of Red Cross Societies, founded in 1919, and focuses on one national society, the Australian Red Cross, and how it realigned itself as part of the transition from war to peace in the 1920s. It did this, in part, through the emerging global programme of the Junior Red Cross. To allow children to gather together under the auspices of the Red Cross to foster and extend its work beyond national borders and into the international spaces was led by the League of Red Cross Societies. Emerging national Red Cross societies such as the Australian Red Cross found value and guidance from the Movement’s new federated body, and played a part in ensuring its survival and success.

in The Red Cross Movement

In 1943 the Macau delegation of the Portuguese Red Cross was established in the South China enclave at the height of the Second World War. Two years later its president was assassinated in the streets of Macau and the following year the delegation ended its activities. It was not the first time a Macau delegation had existed, nor would it be the last, but the brief period (1943–6) during which this Red Cross delegation operated reveals many important features of wartime Macau, the activities of a small Red Cross delegation under extreme circumstances and the challenges of neutrality during the same period. Surrounded by Japanese conquests, wartime Macau became a haven of neutrality and sanctuary, with a population swollen by refugees from across Asia. This chapter explores a range of issues and shows how the Red Cross in Macau was, simultaneously, a local creation, a delegation integrated into a national/colonial context, an inter-imperial structure and part of a transnational institution with global reach.

in The Red Cross Movement