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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.

Philosophical lessons from lockdown

French philosopher Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) famously said that facing our mortality is the only way to properly learn the ‘art of living’. He was right. This book is about what we can learn from COVID-19 about the art of living, as individuals but also collectively as a society: this crisis could potentially change our lives for the better, ushering in a more just society. The book will explore a number of key themes through philosophical lenses. Chapter 2 asks whether coronavirus is a misfortune, or an injustice. Chapter 3 focuses on the largest cohort of victims of coronavirus: people in old age. Chapter 4 asks whether life under coronavirus is comparable to life in the so-called ‘state of nature’. Chapter 5 explores the likely impact of coronavirus on the global phenomenon of populism. Chapter 6 investigates the relationship between post-truth and coronavirus. Chapter 7 focuses on the role of experts during this crisis. Chapter 8 looks at the spike of incidents of domestic violence during the lockdown via an analysis of Sally Rooney’s Normal People. Chapter 9 explores four key lessons that must be learned from the COVID-19 crisis: that politics matters; that central states are necessary; that taxation is important; and that radical reforms, including the introduction of a universal basic income, are crucial. Chapter 10 considers what philosophy can contribute to the debate on COVID-19, and why we have a moral duty not to become ill.

Abstract only
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
Vittorio Bufacchi

similar to life pre COVID-19, we will have wasted a unique opportunity to eradicate some of the worst underlying conditions of social injustice that inflict misery on billions of people across the globe. This would be not only regrettable but unforgivable. Speaking at the International Labour Organization Global Summit on 8 July 2020, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins made the point that the pandemic has exposed the stark reality of the paradigm in which our economies have operated for the last four decades: a shrinking of the space of the state, including

in Everything must change
Abstract only
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
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Race, postcolonialism and diversity capital
Laura Clancy

, capital accumulation, social injustice and inequalities. Like ‘Wills and Kate's’ fairy-tale romance as resolution to royal sexual ‘scandals’, I suggest that Harry and Meghan's marriage provides a narrative of resolution to these histories, as the Firm was represented as progressive and inclusive. I argue that the couple's resignation demonstrates that this narrative was too much for the Firm to contain, and representations of Meghan carried too much symbolic weight to resolve those histories. As the critical race scholar Kehinde Andrews argues of the royals, ‘their

in Running the Family Firm
Vittorio Bufacchi

Yes, there was an element of abstraction and unreality in misfortune. But when an abstraction starts to kill you, you have to get to work on it. Albert Camus, The Plague There are two ways to think of a human tragedy: as a (social) injustice or as a misfortune. A misfortune is usually associated with inescapable external forces of nature, and as such the desolation it leaves in its wake is blameless. The devastating impact of a hurricane, or the trauma of a brain tumour, are dreadful, awful realities, but as acts of nature they can be deemed mere

in Everything must change
Bénédicte Miyamoto and Marie Ruiz

The neutrality of the academic position is a fiction that is never more exposed than when dealing with social injustice and experiences of dislocation and othering. To conclude this reflection on art and migration, the academic authors join the interviewees in their disclosure of self and its borders. They partake in a reflexive exercise to consider the intersections of structure and agency in this volume. What social position do they hold, and what meaning, processes, and practices have they deployed? They acknowledge, each in turn, their multi-layered positionality and the embedded social and political issues related to gender, race, and culture. They remind themselves and the readers that the migrant experience varies in degrees of hardship according to the subjects’ position in systemic and oppressive structures. They reclaimed throughout the volume the term ‘migrant’ specifically because they see it as capacious rather than defining. This personal conclusion affirms that the experience of migration remains fragmented and fluid, allowing for a flexible definition of migrant communities.

in Art and migration
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