Populism and Performance:Creative Encounters with Agonism

Rowe, Cami (2022) Populism and Performance:Creative Encounters with Agonism. In: International Studies Association Annual Convention, 2022-03-282023-04-02. (Unpublished)

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This paper contributes to an understanding of populist political interaction by applying perspectives from performance theory and theatrical practice, enabling a view of populism that accounts for its embodied and material elements. This has significant implications for the pursuit of agonism and, as Chantal Mouffe and others advocate, the necessity to retain presences of opposition and difference. By paying due attention to the ways that political interaction is shaped by embodied, physical encounters, we can further our understanding of the ways that agonistic democracy unfolds in practice. Theatrical practice - including ‘applied’ practices that adapt techniques from the stage for the purpose of broader social and political contexts - is particularly adept at facilitating the capacity for people to experience duality; theatre enables participants to experience a sense of being more than one thing at once, holding in mind the values they embrace as part of their own identity, while also imagining and enacting alternative perspectives or values. When undertaken through group creative projects, such experiences transform conflict into collaborative process. This paper therefore suggests that we can draw on applied performance practices to find new ways of encouraging participants in democratic processes to collectively act as adversaries rather than enemies.

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Contribution to Conference (Paper)
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International Studies Association Annual Convention
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25 Nov 2022 13:45
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25 Nov 2022 13:45