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Author: Sruti Bala

This book presents a study that undertakes an examination of participatory practices in contemporary theatre, performance and the visual arts, setting these against the broader social and political horizons of civic participation. It reconsiders the status of participation, with particular emphasis on participatory art both beyond a judgement of its social qualities as well as the confines of format and devising. The book attempts a cross-disciplinary discussion of participation, bringing together examples from the field of applied and community theatre, performance art and participatory visual arts. Gestures of participation in performance indicate possibilities for reconfiguring civic participation in public spaces in unexpected ways. Thus, less emphasis is laid on direct opposition and instead seeking a variety of modes of resisting co-optation, through unsolicited, vicarious or delicate gestures of participation. The book examines the question of institutional critique in relation to participatory art. It moves on to address the relationship between participatory art and the concept of 'impact'. A close examination of one workshop setting using the methodological framework of the 'theatre of the oppressed' in the context of a political party-led initiative follows. The book follows two conceptually inspired performance projects Where We Are Not? and If I Could Take Your Place? Finally, it emphasizes on how common-sense assumptions around audience participation in theatre and performance theory are called into question by the artwork's foregrounding of sleep as a mode of participation.

Eoin Daly and Tom Hickey

(especially, but not exclusively, in the area of constitutional change), and secondly, it has the potential to promote a greater degree of civic participation than could occur under a purely representative democracy. Popular sovereignty and the referendum in Irish constitutional law The rhetoric of popular sovereignty features prominently in the text of the 1937 Constitution. Effectively it overlaps with and blends into the partner idea of national sovereignty. This is captured in Article 1’s assertion that ‘The Irish nation … affirms its inalienable, indefeasible, and

in The political theory of the Irish Constitution
Megan Smitley

community was mobilised for reform through drawing-room meetings. Kinship networks had varied implications for middle-class women’s public lives, from bringing Scotswomen’s reforming concerns to a London audience to facilitating daughters’ entry into public life. Yet, the feminine public sphere represents more than an arena for middle-class women’s reforming activities, and it is best understood as a site of middle-class women’s contribution to middle-class identity. Civic participation was a hallmark of middle-class culture in the 1870 to 1914 period. Affluent men

in The feminine public sphere
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Sruti Bala

area marked as an aesthetic space, wherein they may reflect or represent the world outside, undisturbed or untouched by it; rather, these two dimensions are porous, connected by a vector shuttling back and forth between them, not merely transporting ideas from one dimension to the other, but affecting and transforming each of them in the process. The present study undertakes an examination of participatory practices in contemporary theatre, performance and the visual arts, setting these against the broader social and political horizons of civic participation. It does

in The gestures of participatory art
Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

Allwood 05 24/2/10 5 10:30 Page 129 Refugees, gender and citizenship in Britain and France This chapter explores the question of citizenship-building processes in relation to women asylum seekers and refugees and their civic participation not only in discrete refugee women’s community associations or organisations (RCOs) but also in (longer established) migrant women’s community associations.1 Its aim is fourfold: first, it discusses the relationship between the question of citizenship, refugee women and their associations; second, it presents an overview

in Refugee women in Britain and France
Rob Manwaring

democracy (Schumpeter 1952). For Schumpeter, democracy is conceived as no more than a political method for electing the political elites. Schumpeter argues that an overly participative society would be an inherently unstable polity, basing his views on limited civic participation on three sets of assumptions: the incompetence of the typical citizen to make sound decisions; the tendency to irrationality of the public; and the fact that greater participation gives greater space for special interest groups to pursue their own ends (see Weale 2007, p. 121). Held (1987, p. 192

in The search for democratic renewal
Eoin Daly and Tom Hickey

Tiger’ years were coloured by the decidedly un-republican combination of doctrinaire neo-liberalism and a more traditional clientelism.21 Of course it would be naive to interpret this post-crisis reflection as heralding something of a civic-republican ‘moment’. One public intellectual noted that, in the aftermath of the economic collapse, the prevailing public mood could be summarised as ‘ASAP’  – ‘anti-state, anti-politics’.22 Another commentator bemoaned the absence of a culture of or infrastructure for civic participation at the local level in particular. O

in The political theory of the Irish Constitution
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Sally Mayall Brasher

community's existence. The jurisdictional disputes of the thirteenth century reflect the difficulty of shared governance and the evolution of civic participation and governance. Individual and group piety gave way to greater attention to civic and economic concerns. Increased attempts at the assertion of ecclesiastical oversight often resulted in resistance from institutions and groups. Leadership of hospital management became politicized, as did membership for some in the hospital staffing community. Urban citizens became more engaged in the

in Hospitals and charity
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Activism and design in Italy
Author: Ilaria Vanni

Precarious objects is a book about activism and design. The context is the changes in work and employment from permanent to precarious arrangements in the twenty-first century in Italy. The book presents design interventions that address precarity as a defuturing force affecting political, social and material conditions. Precarious objects shows how design objects, called here ‘orientation devices’, recode political communication and reorient how things are imagined, produced and circulated. It also shows how design as a practice can reconfigure material conditions and prefigure ways to repair some of the effects of precarity on everyday life. Three microhistories illustrate activist repertoires that bring into play design, and design practices that are grounded in activism. While the vitality, experimental nature and traffic between theory and praxis of social movements in Italy have consistently attracted the interest of activists, students and researchers in diverse fields, there exists little in the area of design research. This is a study of design activism at the intersection of design theory and cultural research for researchers and students interested in design studies, cultural studies, social movements and Italian studies.

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Between image, act, body and language
Sruti Bala

an end. A gesture is an image on the way to becoming an act, or conversely, it is the halting of an act in its transition to image, the condensation of an act, interruptions that generate tableaus or frozen images. A gesture may bear the potential of an act, but is not yet an act. Similarly, participatory art possibly gestures towards a broader civic participation, but is not yet or not necessarily its accomplishment. Theatre theory, specifically Brecht’s work on the Gestus, has widely employed the concept to refer to its capacities to generate highly charged

in The gestures of participatory art