AuthorCanas, Tania Sofia
AffiliationFine Arts and Music Collected Works
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2021-12-20. This item is currently available to University of Melbourne staff and students only, login required.
© 2018 Tania Sofia Canas
Theatre practitioners have displayed an increasing interest in staging Refugee narratives, with approaches undertaking a number of methodologies. This thesis intends to look at a larger pattern of socio-political power relations, rather than a case by case analysis. The focus is on frame and thus primarily theoretical. Essentially this research looks at how Refugee theatre reproduces colonial terms of enunciation that restrict, limit, prescribe and demand how Refugees must perform to particular characters and narratives—both on and off stage. The research asserts that the performative demands of Refugee as a socio-political identity- exists before the theatrical site- extending to the performance demands of Refugee Theatre. I suggest that Refugee Theatre primarily relies on truth claims not because they are the most effective of all forms; but because it remains problematically tied to expectations to prove truth, authenticity and innocence. Refugee is continually asked to speak to these, as a Performance of Credibility. This has severe implications who gets seen and how they get seen. I argue that Performing Credibility is silencing rather than self determining. Thus it argues that that Refugee theatre as Performances of Credibility, function as an extension of the geospatial border in that they are just as oppressive, violent and silencing in its performative demands. The thesis offers two performative interventions that frame ‘Refugeeness’ in ways that resist these colonial narratives, as a form of anti-Performing Credibility dramaturgy. Drawing upon Latin American decolonial scholarship, the thesis argues for a conception of Refugeeness as ongoing and navigational, displacing borders and evading nationalist frameworks. The thesis explores how Refugeeness might be a useful re-frame to ensure Refugee challenges borders, rather than be assaulted within them; Refugeeness as a generative, creative site towards re-emergence and a step away from the burden of continuously Performing Credibility.
KeywordsRefugee; theatre; performance; Latin America; Australia; decolonial
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