Performance in Place of War – Written by: James Thompson, Jenny Hughes and Michael Balfour
Book: Performance in Place of War
Edited by: James Thompson, Jenny Hughes and Michael Balfour
Published by: Seagull Books, 2009
The book ‘Performance in Place of War’ seeks to explore how performance may play a role in preventing, offering and garnering protection, and rehabilitating war afflicts during and in the aftermath of war. The volume pays attention to how these claims of roles of performances stand within the wider discourse and practices of war. Through the research, the writers elaborate the complex ‘imbrication’ between ‘elements of war’ and ‘performance practices’ and show how culture is not just a simple reflection of or response to war but an integrated part of the matrix. They have discussed how culture is developed, altered and mediated by different groups — the warmakers, the victims, the displaced, the rehabilitated, the refugees and the peacemakers in war times, times of peace reinstatement and times interluding war and peace. The book also explores culture formation and responses in the wake of new international war forms such as the ‘war on terror’.
“Theatre and performance practices and projects are an important, dynamic and mostly unrecognised and undocumented part of refugee experience. They provide an opportunity to explore experience, reinvent identity, assert presence, tell stories, not tell stories, dance and enjoy. As such these practices demonstrate — as does the Conclusion of Chapter 1 — the refugees are not passive victims of war, but reflexively, actively and energetically engaged in reinventing their lives.” (Page 130)Performance in place of war