Case studies-Blank Noise and Theater for Living

BLANK NOISE

WHAT IS THE ARTIST TRYNG TO DO?

  • Spread awareness about sexual harassment; open dialogues; give a new perspective to it; and thereby encouraging voluntary action.
  • Aims to shift responsibility from women to the public and legal systems.
  • To change attitudes-Victim: You aren’t alone. Face your story. Face your harasser.

Public: Make a conscious effort to intervene.

HOW DOES THE ARTIST TRY TO CREATE A DIALOGUE vs POLARISE AN ISSUE? WHAT ARE THE STRATEGIES USED?

I personally think this organisation inculcates a bit of both the aforementioned elements i.e, of creating a dialogue and polarising an issue.

The online events that enable the victims to express and put across their experiences, would entail a larger constituent of creating a dialogue. Most often, this is a pre-cursor to the process of forming opinions and consequently polarising an issue. But according to me, this non-profit group along with the one mentioned later (theatre of living), have in them a rather definitive quality of open-ended dialogue that doesn’t necessitate a conclusion.

STATEGIES USED:

  • Street theatre, performance art, protest.
  • Partnerships with groups working in urban slums.
  • Online blogs, stencilling, posters, T-shirts, etc.
  • Opinion polls (non –confrontational dialogue)
  • Mapping( red fingerprint-opens up dialogues),
  • role playing (wearing something they wouldn’t usually wear in public)

WHAT IN YOUR VIEW IS EFFECTIVE AND IN-EFFECTIVE ABOUT THIS ARTISTIC ACT?

  • Effective- Acts do spread awareness (online, streets, parks, bus/train stations); Dialogue adds another layer to a previously condensed, compact unit of polarised opinions; does change attitudes. Evidence lies in the fact in the fact that various other collectives have now collaborated (partnerships) and made this organisation viral in their cities.
  • Ineffective or rather questions- How successful is it in making the required amends in the country’s law against sexual harassment? How much is it directly attacking and affecting the perpetrators?

 

THEATER FOR LIVING

 

WHAT IS THE ARTIST TRYNG TO DO?

  • Theatre for dialogue- You don’t come into it with the agenda of convincing the other person.
  • Address social issues and create conflict resolution.
  • Looking for versions of the same story.
  • Listening and finding commonality.
  • Being in the “other’s” shoes by role playing. “Ideas of how we turn people into the other and how we turn into the other.”
  • Ask the ‘real’ questions- ones we usually don’t have the answer to.

HOW DOES THE ARTIST TRY TO CREATE A DIALOGUE vs POLARISE AN ISSUE? WHAT ARE THE STRATEGIES USED?

  • Approaches community-based cultural work as system-based perspective.
  • Personifying huge entities of the society (eg: corporations) to be able to relate to the issue better and to find an ‘access point’ when it comes to solving the same.
  • To not try to change the ‘entity’ but to change the relationship we have with it, hence, changing the power-play involved.
  • Active audience participation creates a very interesting dialogue that exposes layers that were never considered before.

WHAT IN YOUR VIEW IS EFFECTIVE AND IN-EFFECTIVE ABOUT THIS ARTISTIC ACT?

  • Effective-The non-verbal images often made more of an impact than the conversations the characters had, in the fact that it was more open to interpretation that the restricting framework of speech.

 

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