A re-consideration of participation and ethics in applied theatre projects with internally displaced and internationally displaced persons in Africa and beyond

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dc.contributor.author Afolabi, Taiwo
dc.date.accessioned 2020-04-27T18:30:05Z
dc.date.available 2020-04-27T18:30:05Z
dc.date.copyright 2020 en_US
dc.date.issued 2020-04-27
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/11692
dc.description.abstract This research started as a quest to understand better the ethics of doing Theatre for Development/Applied Theatre with under-served, marginalized and vulnerable populations especially in post-conflict zones in the Global South. As a theatre practitioner-researcher from Africa who has lived and worked in post-conflict zones, I was interested in fostering appropriate ethical protocols for arts-based practices for social engagement, advocacy and social justice. Thus, in this dissertation, I focus on two concepts in applied theatre practice: participation and ethics. I examine how participation can be re-conceptualized in applied theatre practice and focus on the ethics around conducting research among vulnerable populations especially on refugees and internally displaced persons. On participation, I use existing case studies from various fields to argue that participation in community engagement and socially-engaged art practices can become a tool to reposition voices on the margin to the centre in order to unsettle centres of power. However, for this to happen, participation needs to engage a communicative action that is both epistemic and ontic in its approach. An epistemic discourse provides a way of seeing the world while an ontic discourse provides people with a way of being in the world. The former is a ‘theoretical’ discursive practice that is fundamentally epistemological, and the latter is an ‘embodied’ praxis that is fundamentally ontological. I examine the famous Ngugi wa Thiongo’s Kamiriithu Community Theatre project in Kenya and Michael Balfour et al’s refugee project in Australia to foreground this new thinking on verb-oriented and noun-oriented notions of participation. On ethics, I raise a series of critical questions around interventionist or humanitarian performances. It is hoped that these questions will deepen discourses in applied theatre practice and further challenge practitioners to rethink why we do what we do. Using narrative inquiry, I glean lessons from my field research facilitating drama workshop among secondary school students who have been internally displaced due to an ongoing socio-political crisis in Nigeria. I also reflect on my other applied theatre experiences in Canada and Sudan. I propose an ethical practice that is built on relational interaction. In the context of working in post-conflict zones or in places of war, I argue that precarity becomes a determining factor in framing the ethics of practice. The questions around ethics are raised to also draw attention to decolonizing ethical practices. Finally, I articulate the connection between participation and ethics in that participation becomes a tactic to ensure that applied theatre researchers/practitioners conduct their work in ethical ways. This is because through participation, concerned communities can challenge unethical practices and transform the research to create outcomes that are beneficial. Thus, as an example of reflective practitioner research, the projects in this dissertation offer opportunities to examine critically how participation has been conceptualized and the need for a decolonizing understanding towards ethics in applied theatre practice especially in post-conflict zones. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject participation en_US
dc.subject ethics en_US
dc.subject applied theatre en_US
dc.subject internally displaced persons en_US
dc.subject refugees en_US
dc.subject performance en_US
dc.subject socially-engaged art en_US
dc.subject social theatre en_US
dc.subject devised theatre en_US
dc.subject decolonization en_US
dc.subject critical theory en_US
dc.subject autobiography en_US
dc.subject forced migration en_US
dc.subject theatre for development en_US
dc.subject postcolonial theory en_US
dc.subject drama curriculum en_US
dc.title A re-consideration of participation and ethics in applied theatre projects with internally displaced and internationally displaced persons in Africa and beyond en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Warwick, Dobson
dc.degree.department Department of Theater en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Afolabi, T. (2020) “Diversity Metrics? A reflection on themes from a refugee theatre project in Canada”, Cultural Policy Yearbook: Forced Migration and Cultural Production, edited by S. Ada, Istanbul: Cultural Policy and Management Research Centre & Iletisim Publisher, pp. 56-64. en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Afolabi, T. (2019). Performing Arts-based Interventions in Post-conflict Zones: Critical and Ethical Questions, NJ: Journal of Drama Australia, Vol. 43.1, pp. 51-66 en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Afolabi, T. (2019). Caring and listening: reflections from the field, Mwangaza Mama edited by E. Oliveira and R. Walker, The MoVe Project, African Centre for Migration and Society, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, pp. 94-95 en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Afolabi, T. (2018). Becoming ethical through relational interaction: an examination of performance among IDP in Nigeria. Performing Ethos, Vol. 8, pp. 3-18 en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Afolabi, T. (2018). With/Without, Gatherings edited by J. Cole & S. Johnson, Coach House Press, Vol. 1, p. 12 en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Afolabi, T. (2017). Theatre and Participation: towards a holistic notion of participation, Applied Theatre Research, Vol.5:2, pp. 67-82 en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Afolabi, T. (2016). Theatre and Participation: a critical examination of Sherry Arnstein’s ladder of Participation in the Kamiriithu theatre experience. Applied Theatre Research, Vol.4:3, pp. 205-221 en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US

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