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Rethinking verbatim dramaturgies

Responding to the resurgence of verbatim theatre that emerged in Britain, Australia, the United States and other parts of the world in the early 1990s, this book offers one of the first sustained, critical engagements with contemporary verbatim, documentary and testimonial dramaturgies. Offering a new reading of the history of the documentary and verbatim theatre form, the book relocates verbatim and testimonial theatre away from discourses of the real and representations of reality and instead argues that these dramaturgical approaches are better understood as engagements with forms of truth-telling and witnessing. Examining a range of verbatim and testimonial plays from different parts of the world, the book develops new ways of understanding the performance of testimony and considers how dramaturgical theatre can bear witness to real events and individual and communal injustice through the re-enactment of personal testimony. Through its interrogation of different dramaturgical engagements with acts of witnessing, the book identifies certain forms of testimonial theatre that move beyond psychoanalytical accounts of trauma and reimagine testimony and witnessing as part of a decolonised project that looks beyond event-based trauma, addressing instead the experience of suffering wrought by racism and other forms of social injustice.

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Ben Jackson

neglect the diversity of the policy tools that they saw as relevant to the pursuit of an egalitarian society. Overall, it is salutary to recall that the egalitarianism of the British Left was not intended as an exercise in pure idealism. It was aimed at rectifying the demonstrable social injustices of the British class system, and philosophical arguments were therefore ultimately constrained by considerations of political strategy. The usually emollient Hobhouse, driven to something like passion by his debate with Shaw in the pages of the Nation, gave a glimpse of this

in Equality and the British Left
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Sue Vice

complementing or even constituting the plot. Spend, Spend, Spend and The Chain are both about British class structures. While the former uses its crosscutting between past and present to reveal the abyss between poverty and wealth, even within the same individuals’ lives, The Chain’s plaited structure emphasises instead the interconnections between people at either end of the social scale. In both Moving Story and Bag Lady, class distinction and social injustice are unexplored backdrops in films which are more concerned with narrative. Moving Story is the pilot for a series

in Jack Rosenthal
Performing the ethico-political imperatives of witnessing
Amanda Stuart Fisher

, the theatre maker transforms the testimonial process into a political act, reconfiguring witnessing as an act of resistance. To develop these ideas in this chapter I examine three plays, each of which addresses police racism and racialised social injustice. In the first section, I begin with an example of what I consider to be a missed opportunity for the restaging of an act of parrhesia. In The Colour of Justice, a tribunal play that received a very positive critical response when it opened at the Tricycle Theatre in 1999, the restaging of a public inquiry raises

in Performing the testimonial
Duncan Wheeler

There is an expanding body of scholarship that alternates between two dominant visions of the Francoist censor: the ubiquitous and draconian fascist oppressor, and the easily hoodwinked bureaucratic buffoon. This chapter charts evolving systems of control during the final thirteen years of Francoism, whilst seeking both to situate and to deconstruct the academic field of censorship in the Spanish context. The principal hypothesis is that repression often resides more in the constant possibility of recrimination than in specific examples of prohibition, and that there is a pressing need to go beyond the routine practice of cataloguing case-studies to become more self-reflective about what is at stake in the relationship between narrating censorial practices and the development of canonical accounts of the Transition. The regulation of a broad range of media (popular music, theatre, cinema, bullfighting, the press) is covered to suggest that, against a backdrop of increased liberalisation, greater control was exercised on depictions of poverty as well as social injustices and inequalities.

in Following Franco
Open Access (free)
A practical politics of care
Caoimhe McAvinchey

rethinking about the relationship between care and justice, equality and power exposes the limited reach of government policy addressing social injustice. Clean Break’s theatre practice with women affected by social inequality, and the work it does around consciousness raising through theatre about the enduring structural inequalities that shape their experience is, I argue, a political, social and cultural intervention that breeches this gap. Fisher and Tronto’s identification of the elements of care offers a pertinent framework with which to examine Clean Break

in Performing care
Open Access (free)
Collaborations
Hannah Jones, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, William Davies, Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Emma Jackson, and Roiyah Saltus

Living Research Six: Collaborations Our research on Operation Vaken was rooted in several different forms of engagement, with the hope not only of intervening in social injustices (see Passy, 2001 ) but also of producing knowledge differently; a less elitist and collaborative knowledge. The root of the word collaboration, from the Latin collaborare – to work together – carries ambivalence. To collaborate can also suggest betrayal, even

in Go home?
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Christopher Lloyd

self-effacing or serves the cause of popular entertainment is too easily overlooked (or subsumed into broader discussions of generic features which pay little attention to the specificity of individual works). Yet Clouzot is evidently more than an entertainer, particularly if entertainment is taken to mean the production of formulaic fantasies that offer banal or consoling simplifications of life’s problems. His most potent films are rarely consoling, since they dwell relentlessly on mental and physical suffering, human duplicity, social injustice and hypocrisy, and the

in Henri-Georges Clouzot
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Linnie Blake

triumphalism saturated British social life: from the Porschedriving yuppies of the deregulated City of London Stock Exchange to an increasingly rootless working class aspiring to participation in Britain’s new property-owning, share-owning democracy even as nationalised industry and the welfare state were dismantled around their ears. Film culture was not slow to respond to such a perilous state of affairs – numerous films, (many of which were made with the financial support of Channel 4’s Film Four label) despairing at the depths of social injustice, intolerance and hatred

in The wounds of nations
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Bauman’s Levinasian turn
Ali Rattansi

with an idiosyncratic style of writing about social injustice of the world, the problem of finding a sufficient moral/rational explanation for the negative suffering in human life does not appear to impact upon his approach to thinking. Whilst writing about human suffering, he does not appear to be thinking with suffering. (Wilkinson 2007: 253, emphasis in original) For all his concern with ethics, responsibility for the Other and the suffering of the world, Bauman’s discourse and framing unfortunately fall well short of the standards which thinking and writing

in Bauman and contemporary sociology