Anthropology, Theatre, and Development: The Transformative Potential of Performance

Resource types: 
Author: 
Alex Flynn
Jonas Tinius
Date Published: 
2015
Published In/by: 
New York, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Description: 

From Alex Flynn's website:

From Pussy Riot and the Arab Spring to Italian mafia dance, this book provides an interdisciplinary analysis of relational reflexivity in political performance. By putting anthropological theory into dialogue with international development scholarship and artistic and activist practices, this book highlights how aesthetics and politics interrelate in precarious spheres of social life. The contributors of this interdisciplinary volume raise questions about the transformative potential of participating in and reflecting upon political performances both as individual and as collectives. The book argues that such processes provide a rich field and new pathways for anthropological explorations of peoples' own reflections on humanity, sociality, change, and aspiration. Reflecting on political transformations through performance puts centre stage the ethical dimensions of cultural politics and how we enact political subjectivity.

The book stems from a conference panel that the editors, Alex Flynn and Jonas Tinius, convened at IUAES 2013 entitled 'All the world's a stage': the social and political potentialities of theatre and performance. At this conference, radically different perspectives were put into dialogue, and while this book reflects the interdisciplinary of those contributions, the central premise of the authors is a tightly argued anthropological focus on what they term 'relational reflexivity'.