31May
rlevitow May 31, 2007 No Comments

TWB & CI at Brandeis University

Coexistence International (CI) at Brandeis University and Theatre Without Borders are convening a gathering of international theatre artists and coexistence scholar/practitioners on the Brandeis campus from October 5-8, 2007. The primary purpose of the gathering is to further work on an anthology, Performance and Peacebuilding in Global Perspective, which will be completed in 2008. A brief description of the anthology is attached, along with brief biographies of the contributing artists. In conjunction with this gathering, we are bringing to Brandeis and the Boston area two actors from Yuyachkani, a distinguished independent theatre in Peru, the winner of that country’s 2000 National Human Rights Award. In several different venues at Brandeis, Yuyachkani members Ana Correa and Augusto Casafranca will perform works, share documentaries and discuss the contributions of Yuyachkani to Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation process.  Our proposed schedule calls for them to conduct workshops on Thursday, Oct. 4th, and Sat. Oct. 6th and to perform on Friday, October 5th in an open session of two Brandeis classes; Saturday, October 6th in an event targeted to members of the Waltham area Latino communities; and as part of a symposium on Sunday, October 7th in the late afternoon.

 

On Sunday, October 7th, CI will host Pieces of the Coexistence Puzzle: Part II.  We will convene several problem-solving workshops that will engage artists, peacebuilding and coexistence scholar/practitioners and sustainable development workers in conversations designed to explore creative and complementary approaches to particular problems. Topics will range from improving inter-ethnic relations in post-war Serbia, to reducing violence in Sri Lanka, to strengthening immigrant communities in Waltham. Masters students in Cultural Productions, Coexistence and Conflict, Sustainable International Development and the arts will be invited to join these workshops. Participation will be by invitation only.

 

Also on Sunday, October 7th, at 4 p.m. we will convene a short public symposium on the topic “Art vs. Politics and Other False Dichotomies.” The keynote presentation will be a performance of Adios Ayacucho by Yuyachkani. This will be followed by a panel of international theatre artists and cultural workers including Dijana Milosevic of Serbia, Charles Mulekwa of Uganda, Eugene van Erven from The Netherlands, and Polly Walker, who works with Native American and Australian Aboriginal elders on reconciliation rituals. The panel will be followed by dinner and final reflections on potential collaborations among the coexistence, sustainable development and performance fields.

 

In addition, on Friday, October 5th and Monday, October 8th, participants in the anthology projects will be presenting in open sessions of Brandeis University classes in a number of different departments and programs, including University Writing Seminars (USEMS); Politics Department; Anthropology and Cultural Production MA Program; Latin American and Latino Studies; Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies; Theatre Department; Women and Gender Studies; and the MA Program in Coexistence and Conflict.

 

For more information about participating in the public events or arranging an opportunity for engagement with a participant, please contact Jennie El-Far, elfar@brandeis.edu

 

Coexistence International and Theater Without Borders present: 

Acting Together on the World Stage: Setting the Scene for Peace Actuando Juntos: Trabajando Por la Paz en el Escenario Mundial 

Performances, workshops and conversations exploring performance and peacebuilding in global perspective 

October 4 – 8, 2007

Brandeis University, Waltham MA 

FeaturingGrupo Cultural Yuyachkani

At the Vanguard of Latin American Theater” Recipient of the National Human Rights Award of Peru and renowned for their artistic accompaniment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Distinguished Theater Artists and Coexistence Practitioners from conflict regions around the globe  For complete and up-to-date information, please visit http://www.brandeis.edu/coexistence           

 

In divided communities and conflict regions around the world, theater artists and cultural workers are contributing to sustainable coexistence and development. Performances are being crafted to facilitate relationships across the lines of enmity. Theatrical works are mediating between competing historical narratives. Theater and ritual are supporting communities to acknowledge violations of human rights, to mourn losses, and to empathize with the suffering of the other.  In the aftermath of violence, theater artists and cultural workers are negotiating the complex ethical terrain inscribed by memories of the past, imperatives toward justice, and desires for peace. These performances operate in a number of different settings, ranging from mainstream art theater, to community-based participatory projects, to coexistence workshops that use theatrical techniques, to adaptations of traditional rituals performed in explicit reconciliation ceremonies. Performances can engender transformations in consciousness, social relations, cultural practices, and legal arrangements. Coexistence International at Brandeis University and Theater Without Borders are proud to host on the Brandeis campus a gathering of international theater artists and coexistence workers to celebrate the accomplishments and explore the challenges and dilemmas of this work. For this gathering, we are delighted to introduce Brandeis and the Boston area to two actors from Yuyachkani, a distinguished independent theater in Peru, and winner of that country’s 2000 National Human Rights Award. The ensemble combines European theatrical forms and performance traditions from Peru’s indigenous communities.  While at Brandeis, Yuyachkani members Ana Correa and Augusto Casafranca will perform works, share documentaries, lead workshops and discuss how the ensemble created a bridge between Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the indigenous rural communities that had suffered many violations of basic human rights. ‘Yuyachkani’ is a word in the Quechua language that has been translated “I am thinking; I am remembering.” Joining us for this gathering are equally distinguished community cultural workers, playwrights, actors, directors, dramaturges, and coexistence practitioners from Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Ghana, the Middle East, The Netherlands, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and the United States.  They will share their insights and their questions in open sessions of Brandeis classes, at the symposium, and in informal conversations throughout the long weekend.We also extend a warm welcome to members of Waltham-area’s Spanish-speaking communities, who will bring their stories and their desires for lives of greater safety and security into our conversations and workshops. We are pleased to see that this gathering itself embodies our mission to facilitate coexistence, as we strengthen relationships among students, staff and faculty at Brandeis and our neighbors. We are discovering how much we have to learn from each other, and how invigorating our friendships can become. Acting Together on the World Stage/Actuando Juntos explores how theater and ritual can engage people in embodied experiences that open possibilities for new insights and new relationships. Please join us!   

Acting Together on the World Stage: Setting the Scene for Peace

Brandeis University October 4 – 8, 2007 

Events are free, accessible and open to the public except where noted. 

Thursday, October 4th ·               6:00 – 9:00 p.m. – Workshop with Ana Correa of Yuyachkani on “The Creative Use of the Object.” The Lurias, Hassenfeld Conference Center. Open to theater students and members of StageSource. Observers welcome. Space is limited.           Contact elfar@brandeis.edu for reservations.  

Friday, October 5th    

10:40 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Presentations in open sessions of Brandeis classes 

10:40 a.m. -12:00 p.m.·        “USEM: From Colonies to States,” Professor Eva Thorne. Shapiro Campus Center Multi-Purpose Rm. Guest presenters: Roberta Levitow, Charles Mulekwa·         “USEM: Trials of Truth, Power, and Justice,” Professor Eugene Sheppard, Shapiro Campus Center Art Gallery. Guest presenters: Lee Perlman, Catherine Filloux·        “Improvisation,” Professor Adrianne Krstansky. Participants will include several members of Waltham Family Literacy Program Location: 60 Turner St., Basement studio. Guest presenter: Kate Gardner 

12:00 -1:30 p.m.·        Performance in open joint class session of Professor Gordie Fellman’s “War and Possibilities of Peace,” and Mark Auslander’s “Making Culture.” o       Rosa Cuchillo (with English translation) by Ana Correa of Yuyachkani. Great Lawn. Rain location: SCC Theater. Followed by the showing of a video documentary on Yuyachkani’s work with Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and discussion in the Shapiro Campus Center Theater·        “USEM The United States and Africa,” Professor Ibrahim Sundiata. Location: Shapiro Campus Center Rm. 313. Guest presenter: Daniel Banks 

Saturday, October 6th

3:00-5:30 p.m. – Workshop on storytelling and gender justice in Waltham with Ana Correa and Augusto Casafranca of Yuyachkani; Mithra Merryman, Greater Boston Legal Services; Karla Zevallos Community Advocacy Director at REACH and President of Breaking Barriers; and members of the local Latina/o community. Shapiro Campus Center Atrium. Dinner and childcare will be provided.  

6:00 p.m. ·        Performance of Rosa Cuchillo by Ana Correa. Shapiro Campus Center Theater. Performance in Spanish with English translation provided. ·        Followed by presentation of Alma Vida video documenting Yuyachkani’s work with Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission ·        Community conversation on the implications of the play in terms of gender empowerment, storytelling, and reconciliation in Peru and Waltham. Open to members of Waltham’s immigrant community, the Brandeis community, and members of StageSource.  Admission is free but tickets are required, please contact Brandeis Tickets (781) 736 3400, or visit our website www.brandeis.edu/coexistence  

Sunday October 7th

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Pieces of the Coexistence Puzzle: Part 2. Small problem-solving laboratories in which artists, coexistence/peace building practitioners, policy makers, sustainable development workers and students in these fields meet together to think creatively about a problem in a particular community or conflict region, bringing the perspectives of their various disciplines. Graduate students in Coexistence and Conflict; Cultural Productions; Sustainable International Development and the Arts will be invited to participate in these problem-solving labs. Participation is by invitation only. Lunch will be provided. Action plans and recommendations will be developed in relation to:  

·        Inter-ethnic relations in post-war Serbia,

·        Safety among immigrant communities in Waltham, MA

·        Inter-ethnic violence in Sri Lanka

·        Iranian, Israeli, and American relations

·        Incarceration

·        Transitional justice efforts in West Africa and Uganda                                                                                                                                     

·        3:00 -7:30 p.m.  Art vs. Politics and Other False Dichotomies: an evening symposium of performance and conversation. Merrick Theatre, Spingold Theater Center.

·        3:00 Welcome and introduction to contextual frame for understanding Yuyachkani’s performance by Diana Taylor

·        3:30 Keynote performance of Adios Ayacucho by Augusto Casafranca. Musical accompaniment by Ana Correa. This event is not accessible for people in wheelchairs. Admission is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Please contact Brandeis Tickets (781) 736 3400, or visit our website www.brandeis.edu/coexistence

·        4:30 Conversation with Yuyachkani artists, moderated by Roberto Varea and Fernando Rosenberg.  

·        5:00-5:30 Reception/intermission. Dreitzer Gallery.

·        5:30-7:00 Reflections on linkages among theatre, sustainable development and the coexistence field. Panel addressing the nexus of art and politics, moderated by Kevin Clements, Director Australian Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and Erik Ehn, Dean of the School of Theatre at Cal Arts. Speakers include : ·        Eugene van Erven, The Netherlands ·        Dijana Milosevic, Serbia ·        Charles Mulekwa, Uganda 

   Monday, October 8th

·        2:10-5:00 p.m. – Open sessions of Brandeis classes

·               2:10-5:00 p.m. – “COEX 240, Dialogue and Mediation” Professor Theodore Johnson.  Guest presenter: Dr. Kevin Clements, Australian Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. “Political Hybridity: Combining Customary and Modern Forms of Governance: Experiences in the Asia Pacific Region.” 

·               2:10-3:30 p.m. –  “Women and Gender in Culture and Society.” Professor Harleen Singh. Guest Presenters: Aida Nasrallah, Catherine Filloux, and Eugene Van Erven

·               3:40-5:00 p.m. –“Israeli Theatre” Professor Bracha Azoulay’s “Israeli Theater.” Guest Presenters: Lee Perlman, Aida Nasrallah, in Hebrew.     

 

Performance and Peacebuilding in Global Perspective


Brief Description of the Anthology
 In conflict regions around the world, theatre artists and cultural workers are contributing to sustainable peace and coexistence. Performances are being crafted to facilitate relationships across the lines of enmity. Theatrical works are mediating between competing historical narratives. Theatre and ritual are supporting communities to acknowledge violations of human rights, to mourn losses, and to empathize with the suffering of the other.  In the aftermath of violence, theatre artists and cultural workers are negotiating the complex ethical terrain inscribed by memories of the past, imperatives toward justice, and desires for peace. These performances operate in a number of different settings, ranging from mainstream art theatre, to community-based participatory projects, to coexistence workshops that use theatrical techniques, to adaptations of traditional rituals performed in explicit reconciliation ceremonies. What they have in common is their ability to engage people in embodied experiences that open possibilities for new insights and new relationships. Performances can engender transformations in consciousness, social relations, cultural practices, and legal arrangements.Performance and Peacebuilding in Global Perspective is an anthology that will document
and reflect on promising contemporary examples of compelling performance works directly
linked to restoring active participation in civil society, and to facilitating the construction of peace. It will consist of case studies that will situate performances in their relevant historical, social and political contexts. The case studies will describe final productions as well as the processes leading up to them, assess their impact, and evaluate their contributions to establishing sustainable peace in their region of the world. The volume is designed to be a resource for artists, cultural workers and peacebuilding practitioners working in conflict regions, as well as for scholars and students of Performance Studies, Conflict Transformation, and related fields.
The Anthology’s editors intend for this book to strengthen and help legitimize an
emerging, dynamic international movement linking performance and peacebuilding, by sketching the contours of a body of theory and practice; identifying the paths of connectivity between artists, peacebuilding practitioners and policy makers; creating opportunities for critical reflection; and highlighting the movement’s achievements and its promise. We expect to complete the manuscript in the summer of 2008.

The book is co-edited by Dr. Cynthia Cohen, Executive Director of the Slifka Program in
Intercommunal Coexistence and Director of Coexistence Research and International Collaborations at Brandeis University; Ms. Roberta Levitow, founder of Theatre Without Borders, and a noted American theatre director who, as a senior Fulbright specialist, has
worked with emerging theatre artists in Romania, China and Uganda; Roberto Varea, director of the Performance and Social Justice Program at the University of San Francisco; and  Dr. Polly Walker, a research associate and conflict resolution trainer affiliated with the Australian Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, who is an expert on Native American and Aboriginal reconciliation rituals.

 

 Theater artists, cultural workers and coexistence practitioners: 

Dr. Daniel Banks, Professor and Director of the Hip Hop Theater Initiative, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University 

Dr. Kevin Clements, Professor and Founding Director, Australian Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 

Mr. Erik Ehn, Dean for the School of Theater, Head of Writing for Performance Program, California Institute foe the Arts 

Ms. Catherine Filloux, Accomplished playwright whose work explores themes of reconciliation and intercultural connection, expertise in post-genocide Cambodia 

Ms. Kate Gardner, Founder, Community Theater Internationale 

Ms. Roberta Levitow, Founder of Theater Without Borders 

Ms. Ruth Margraff, Associate Professor of Playwriting, The School of Art Institute, Chigago 

Ms. Dijana Milosevic, Artistic Director, Dah Theater and Research Center, Belgrade, Serbia 

Mr. Charles Mulekwa, award winning playwright, actor, and director with National Theater of Uganda 

Ms. Aida Nasrallah, Palestinian-Israeli author and poet who focuses on women’s roles as peacebuilders 

Mr. Madhawa Palihapitiya, native Sri Lankan, Program Officer for Dispute Resolution, Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution 

Mr. Lee Perlman, Director of Programs, Abraham Fund Initiatives; Lecturer, Tel Aviv University, Israel 

Dr. Eugene Van Erven, Senior Lecturer, Researcher, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Author of Radical People’s Theater, The Playful Revolution: theater and liberation in Asia, and Community Theater: Global Perspectives. 

Mr. Roberto Varea, Founder and Artistic Director, Soapstone Theater Company; Professor of theater and co-founder of Performing Arts and Social Justice major, University of San Francisco 

Dr. Polly Walker, peacebuilding/coexistence practitioner, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 

For information please visit our website: http://www.brandeis.edu/coexistence, or contact: Jennie El-Far, elfar@brandeis.edu, or (781) 736 2617

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