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Recognizing voice and redistributing power: Community theatre with refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds

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This article analyses the experience of creating Women of Power (2018) with a diverse group of refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds. Using the normative framework of a dialogic continuum of micro and macro dramaturgies to guide the analysis, the risks and tensions present in several forms of theatre facilitation are considered. The article examines the complexities of critical reflection and language in relation to creating theatre and draws on Nancy Fraser's analysis of social injustice to consider the position of the facilitator when working with migrant populations. The article contends that an effective way to create an engaging aesthetic and to work as 'redistributors' of privilege may be to offer sustainable, dramatic and pragmatic structures for participants to add their voices to.
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Keywords: asylum seekers; community theatre; migration; pedagogy; refugees; women

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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  • Performing Ethos is a refereed, interdisciplinary journal which considers ethical questions relating to contemporary theatre and live performance. Global in scope, it provides a unique forum for rigorous scholarship and serious reflection on the ethical dimensions of a wide range of performance practices from the politically and aesthetically radical to the mainstream.
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