Applied theatre as post-disaster response: re-futuring climate change, performing disasters, and Indigenous ecological knowledge

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dc.contributor.author Gupa, Dennis D.
dc.date.accessioned 2021-09-07T22:12:16Z
dc.date.available 2021-09-07T22:12:16Z
dc.date.copyright 2021 en_US
dc.date.issued 2021-09-07
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/13371
dc.description.abstract In this dissertation, I foreground local elders’ epistemology and ontology embedded in sea rituals and traditional fishing methods in a typhoon-battered community in the Philippines. I do this through the practice of applied theatre to explore agency, relationality, and creativity in the aftermath of a disaster. By locating this dissertation within the intercultural, interdisciplinary, and intersectional applied theatre, I mobilize local disaster narratives by using auto-ethnography, Practice-as-Research, and Participatory Action Research towards the co-creation of local/transnational community-based-theatre performances. These applied theatre performances underscore the solidarity and collective creativity of community members, elders, local government officials, local artists in the Philippines and diasporic Filipinos in Canada. The dissertation engages in personal narrative inquiry, reflective memoir, oral stories, ritual performances, collective creations, archives, and in reclaimed objects to address the existing colonial mode of theorizing theatre and organized post-disaster recovery programs in a local island community decimated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). Cognizant of the complex networks of post-disaster reconstruction, recovery, and planning in local and international spheres of development work, I formulate an applied theatre performance method as a post-disaster mitigative approach stemming from the specter of Super Typhoon Yolanda and other disastrous events wrought by climate crises. This collective and emancipative method emerges from an affective, hybrid, and cross-cultural mode of inquiry to tackle climate change and bring Indigenous ways of knowing into the center of the climate change conversation. I use this method in co-creating performances on local climate crises that critically examines coloniality and cultural misappropriation in an intercultural milieu. I discuss Indigenous ecological epistemology against the backdrop of climate change processes through autoethnographic inquiry and multi-narrative discourse on agentic, performative, and collective performance creations. I argue that Indigenizing the performance method mobilizes a decolonial theatre that broadens, equalizes, and diversifies the climate change dialogue. Informed by the vernacular concepts of affective and intersubjective criticality (Abat), relational collaboration (Pakiki-pagpulso, Pakiki-pagkapwa, Pagmamalasakit), and shared improvisation (Pintigan), this performance method deploys emancipative subjectivities and considers possible futures. By using applied theatre as a practice of post-disaster recovery, I channel its artistic practice and tools in engaging the local and transnational communities in collective acts of re-centering marginalized narratives and peripheralized bodies of knowledge. Stemming from the wounding memories of disasters, traumatic stories of a super typhoon, and political disjuncture, my collaborators and I mobilized communities, deployed diverse voices, and engaged with non-human subjectivities in sites with histories of environmental destruction and colonization both in local and diasporic communities. Driven by principles of decolonial theatre and emancipated dramaturgy, I aim to offer an ethical inquiry and practice of applied theatre that tackles climate crises in sites with a long history of disasters. These performance principles valorize the Indigenization of theatre’s capacity for social, political, and cultural intervention to re-future climate crises. Finally, this dissertation emphasizes the persistence of Indigenous knowledge, social relationality, and local creativity beyond the incursion of modernity and colonialism. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject applied theatre as post-disaster response en_US
dc.subject performance method en_US
dc.subject decolonial theatre en_US
dc.subject community-based-theatre performance en_US
dc.subject relationality en_US
dc.subject future en_US
dc.subject Canada en_US
dc.subject Philippines en_US
dc.title Applied theatre as post-disaster response: re-futuring climate change, performing disasters, and Indigenous ecological knowledge en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Sadeghi-Yekta, Kirsten
dc.degree.department Department of Theater en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US

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