We’ve been delighted to contribute to ‘Theatres of Migration: Crossing Artistic and Cultural Borders’, a research seminar hosted by the University of Bristol’s Theatre Department on 11 February 2019.
Together with Dr Graça Corrêa (University of Lisbon) and Dr Katja Krebs (University of Bristol), we explored the relationship between theatre and migration in terms of contemporary as well as a historic theatre practices and flows of migration. During the event, we discussed a variety of emerging migrant theatre initiatives both in the UK and mainland Europe as well as the relationship between activism and migrant theatre (Dr Szabolcs Musca), directorial practices and philosophies of alterity (Dr Graça Corrêa). Beyond contemporary issues, we also looked at the use of mock-migratory backgrounds in early twentieth-century music-hall performances within the context of colonialism (Dr Katja Krebs).
The conversation focused on the unpicking of crisis narratives, the role empathy plays both in theatrical practice as well as Realpolitik of migration, and their foundations in colonial attitudes and complicity as enacted by both audience and performer.