Seeking Circles for ‘rupture, ambiguity and dissensus’: Exploring Ethics of Practice in Applied Theatre

Seeking Circles for ‘rupture, ambiguity and dissensus’: Exploring Ethics of Practice in Applied Theatre”

Moderators: Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta and Monica Prendergast

This panel considers practices that focus on opening up spaces for various community groups to enter into larger social, cultural, environmental and/or political conversations. We are particularly interested in approaches that trouble and complicate the ethics of practice in applied theatre. Drawing on Claire Bishop’s important critical perspectives on socially engaged art (in her book Artificial Hells [2012]), we ask: How we can avoid the risk of becoming “subject to manipulation—and eventually instrumentalization—[as] a harmless branch of the welfare state…the kindly folk who can be relied upon to mop up wherever the government wishes to absolve itself of responsibility”? (Bishop, 2012b, p. 38). Are we the “kindly folk” or are we instead committed to a more radical praxis?

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