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Performing partnership: The possibilities of decentring the expertise of international practitioners in international Theatre for Development partnerships

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Building effective global partnerships are a key focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will shape how international development looks until 2030. This article explores how international partnerships in applied theatre/Theatre for Development (TfD) initiatives are performed, and draws on the author’s own experience of being employed on a freelance basis by a non-governmental organization (NGO) to build on the skills of a Ugandan team to utilize theatre. Throughout the article, key moments during a month-long period of training are reflected upon and analyzed with reference to debates within international development, postcolonial studies and applied theatre. Through synergizing these debates, it is suggested that a decentring of Western ‘expertise’ enables more effective partnerships to emerge.
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Keywords: Theatre for Development; Uganda; development; experts; partnership; postcolonialism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Manchester, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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