Performative Interventions: African Community Theatre in the Age of AIDS.

Johansson, Ola (2006) Performative Interventions: African Community Theatre in the Age of AIDS. In: Ritual and Event: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-70181-3

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This chapter assesses the aesthetic tradition and socio-historical transition in performative practices as regards the AIDS epidemic in Africa, with special focus on Tanzania. Ritual has traditionally been considered as a means of social change, while theatre has been viewed as a reflexive and commenting practice. However, changes in social structures ' not least due to AIDS ' have altered the efficacy of cultural practices. Community theatre is a more democratic and variable forum than traditional rites and offers alternative 'ritual changes' for HIV preventive purposes. These functions are appreciated through explorations of the performative conditions of ritual and theatre respectively. A paradoxical scenario is revealed towards the end of the article, however, where performances that come too close to the burning political and gender issues risk being isolated by communities that may not be ready for too radical changes. The contents of the article cuts across the disciplinary fields of performance studies, ritual studies, historical and social anthropology and philosophy. This is the first of three articles on community theatre against AIDS in Africa within the framework of a three-year project called AIDS and the Art of Survival: African Community Theatre as HIV Prevention for which Johansson has accessed external funding from SIDA, the Swedish International Development Agency and Cooperation. The project will be completed in 2008 in a monograph with Palgrave, the first such work combining epidemiological examinations of HIV prevention with performance research on the efficacy of African community theatre. RAE_import_type : Chapter in book RAE_uoa_type : LICA
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29 Feb 2008 13:42
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18 Sep 2023 02:26