Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict
Trade Paperback · 320 Pages
$21.95 U.S. · $24.50 CAN
New Village Press
Recommended for These Courses
- Art and Architecture: Art / General
- Art and Architecture: Art / Political
- International Relations: General
- International Relations: Peace Studies / Conflict Resolution
- Performing Arts: General
- Performing Arts: Theater
- Political Science: International Relations
- Political Science: Peace Studies / Conflict Resolution
- Political Science: Politics of Revolution
- Religion: Peace Studies
- Sociology: General
Acting Together volume II continues where the first volume left off, presenting more inspiring examples of peacebuilding performances in conflict-ridden regions. Where the first volume emphasizes theater and ritual's potential for resistance and catharsis in the midst of direct violence and in the aftermath of mass violence, the second volume focuses on performance's ability to bridge gaps and create inclusion in the more subtle context of structural violence and social exclusion. Drawing examples from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, this volume also includes practical recommendations for policy makers, a toolkit for practitioners, and a wealth of resources for artists and educators.
About the Authors
Roberto Gutiérrez Varea began his career in theater in his native city of Córdoba, Argentina. His research and creative work focuses on live performance as a means of resistance and peacebuilding in the context of social conflict and state violence. Varea's stage work in the United States has focused on Latin@/Chican@ theatre, directing world or West-Coast premieres of works by Migdalia Cruz, Ariel Dorfman, Cherrie Moraga, and Jose Rivera (among others). He is the founding artistic director of community-based performance groups Soapstone Theatre Company, and El Teatro Jornalero!, and cofounder of the San Francisco-based collective Secos & Mojados. He is an associate editor of Peace Review (Routledge) and guest-edited the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics' e-misférica. Varea is a founding faculty of the Performing Arts and Social Justice Program, and director of the Center for Latino Studies in the Americas (CELASA), at the University of San Francisco.
Polly O. Walker is assistant professor of peace and conflict studies at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. She is director of Partners in Peacebuilding, a private consulting organization based in Brisbane, Australia, and lectures widely on intercultural conflict resolution. Previously awarded the University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Women, she conducted research on the role of memorial ceremonies in transforming conflict involving Indigenous and Settler peoples in the United States and Australia. She has published articles in a broad range of international journals, and contributed chapters to several texts on conflict transformation. She is vice-chair of the Indigenous Education Institute, a research and practice institute created for the preservation and contemporary application of Indigenous traditional knowledge. Walker is of Cherokee and Settler descent and grew up in the traditional country of the Mescalero Apache.
"Humanity [has the] capacity to inflict great suffering and unfathomable misfortune. Yet art and, as we see in this work, theatre in particular, can show us that there is a greater force in creativity and a greater power in solidarity. It is in instances like these that art is not just contemplation and transcendence, but also a form of justice that cleanses and vindicates our species in a universal way."
—Dr. Salomón Lerner Febres, former President, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru
"Political and social failures begin and end in failures of imagination. Acting Together invites a major renewal of the dramatic imagination—for the sake of social healing and understanding. The project is itself an exemplar of the engaged imagination set free, a celebration and a challenge at once."
—James Carroll, columnist and author, Jerusalem, Jerusalem
"This book gives Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage" new meaning. Experts in foreign policy and diplomacy, conflict resolution and peacemaking, as well as theatre and performance professionals, can learn from these extraordinary examples what theatre and performance can do to heal the wounds of violent conflict."
—Ambassador Cynthia Schneider, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
"In Volume II of Acting Together, editors Cynthia E. Cohen, Roberto Gutiérrez Varea, and Polly O. Walker present vigorous case studies on the use of performance to create just and inclusive communities. 'In situations characterized by structural violence, exclusion, and social injustice, building peace involves more than ending violent conflict,' they write. In the aftermath of violence, structures to pursue justice and negotiate differences must be put in place. Silenced voices must be heard."
—Jean Randich, Truthdig
"For the first time, the anthology and the Acting Together project provide a platform for peace-building artists to connect and to reflect on their work together with other scholars and practitioners. That in itself is already a significant achievement of the editors and curators of this complex and fascinating collection."
—Serge Loode, Applied Theatre Research
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