Monday, September 5, 2011

Imagination and public Health: Theatre of the oppressed

I'm at KALLPA in Lima Peru.  We are listening to Dr. André deQuadros discuss "theatre of the oppressed" and how theatre is used as a big structure for our work in public health. Theatre allows us to create the structure with all other arts.  Why the arts? Its part of human life.  Provides an imaginary space where people can invent their solutions.  

Theatre of the Oppressed is the Game of Dialogue: we play and learn together. All kinds of Games must have Discipline - clear rules that we must follow. At the same time, Games have absolute need of creativity and Freedom. TO is the perfect synthesis between the antithetic Discipline and Freedom. Without Discipline, there is no Social Life; without Freedom, there is no Life.

Dr. De Quadros emphasized how actors are the interface we have between our public health project and the community. Using a theatre program can provoke imagination, create invention, then create initiative
create initiative. 

I thought this was such a refreshing perspective on the usual public health language which never offers the link that the theatre approach does.  The rhetoric associated with programs such as "Community Based Participatory Action Research" never addresses concepts of "imagination" or "invention".  



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