Performative interventions: African community theatre in the age of AIDS

Johansson, Ola (2009) Performative interventions: African community theatre in the age of AIDS. In: Ritual and Event: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Franko, Mark, ed. Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies . Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 9780415544115. [Book Section]

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The chapter assesses the aesthetic tradition and socio-historical transition in performative practices as regards the AIDS epidemic in Africa, with special focus on Tanzania. Ritual has traditionally been considered as a means of social change, while theatre has been viewed as a reflexive and commenting practice. However, changes in social structures ' not least due to AIDS ' have altered the efficacy of cultural practices. Community theatre is a more democratic and variable forum than traditional rites and offers alternative 'ritual changes' for HIV preventive purposes. These functions are appreciated through explorations of the performative conditions of ritual and theatre respectively. A paradoxical scenario is revealed towards the end of the article, however, where performances that come too close to the burning political and gender issues risk being isolated by communities that may not be ready for too radical changes. The contents of the article cuts across the disciplinary fields of performance studies, ritual studies, historical and social anthropology and philosophy. This publication pertains to a three-year project called AIDS and the Art of Survival: African Community Theatre as HIV Prevention for which Johansson has accessed external funding from SIDA, the Swedish International Development Agency and Cooperation.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 10829
Depositing User: Ola Johansson
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 06:55
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 11:22

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