Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Taking Place: Parrhesiastic practices of social transformation within local forms of theatricality

How can theatricality act as a mediating process between public space and public as ‘audience’? Does the presence of an observer change the nature of the observed and if so, how?

Contact
Eleni Kamma

The research will examine, from the viewpoint of a European pároikos (someone living close to others as an alien resident, in contrast to a kátoikos who is a permanent resident), how local European forms of theater and urban scenographies can be rephrased as parrhesiastic practices of social transformation. Parrhesiastic practices are understood here as exercises in finding the courage to speak one’s mind in heterogeneous post-national urban communities of today. 

How can theatricality act as a mediating process between public space and public as ‘audience’? Does the presence of an observer change the nature of the observed and if so, how? 

The research project aims at revitalizing semi-forgotten playful communal practices, in order to open up a parrhesiastic space for the pároikos. It aims at a re-articulation of public space in a process of co-creation between urban planners , theater makers and political activists. 
The research is situated in the field of a process-based and community-engaged artistic practice.
The methods used include investigation and registration of local parrhesiastic practices, both in old ‘archaic’ manifestations of theatricality and in contemporary (political) demonstrations and other activist events in current European public space. The research will focus on, among other things, theatrical actions in urban spaces and proverbs, quotations, sayings from the language of the Marketplace.

Comic devices in older ‘archaic’ forms of theatricality will be analyzed and translated into new parrhesiastic formats, with the help of the notions of the public space and the role of scenography and through exploration of methods and strategies of working, mainly co-creation and humorous engagement. 

The outcome of the research project envisages three ‘events’ in the cities of Athens, Brussels, Maastricht, combined with a written thesis that will support the artistic research practice by critically reflecting both on its methodology and its relation to its context. 

Connection with other research

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