Politics of Memory and Performance Portfolio Term 1

Coursework/Exams Certificate

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Log Entry 1

World War Two performance

Class notes from 8 December 2014

Ananda Breed

Concepts of memory and mind

Group 1- made a presentation on their tattoos and scars from the past as if we were the audience in a museum. This was based on the concepts on memory and the mind.

Concepts to use in term 2. Creating a performance that is based on archives.

Today we will be looking at information from the Bethnal green memorial disaster. We will also look at articles from interviews from the survivors of the disaster in forms of photos, books, newspapers, journals and research materials. In your research groups you will use the material that I give you to make a 5 min presentation.

Think through the theoretical material. Next term you will have a whole term to respond to an archive.

The groups did their presentations using different articles.

As part of the learning we were asked to create a performance within a live testimony museum. I came up with the idea within my group to do World War Two. The following photos and documents are part of what we used as props when we did the show.

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Group Members at rehearsal

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Log Entry 2

Critical reflection on theatre visit and 5 associated photographs

Play: Dusk

Date: 4 October

On Saturday October 4th 2014 at 11:30am, myself and my two children age 9 and 10 there names were Paris and Lee arrived at the theatre in Stratford Circus, we arrived early so we sat at a table and waited.

At 11:30am the door was opened by a lady standing in front of the door, we got directed in by the Asia to go and stand next to the wall. The atmuastfear was misty then everybody stood around waiting, my most clever daughter Paris notested there was tails hanging from the ceiling!

The actor introduced himself as an It and explained that him and the other It’s lived in a forest. The actor was expressing the story of the It family, suddenly the tails that Paris saw hanging from the ceiling was being lowered by a rope. There was tails for adults, kids and toddles also baby’s there was no more kids tails so Paris got an adult tail she felt and stroked the tail it was soft and the size of the tail was really big, she liked it and wanted to keep it. Paris thought she could and she thought they were giving them out and letting you keep them but then I explained that she couldn’t, she wasn’t actually upset she just wanted to see the show and participate in it.

When I asked Lee if he was going to get a tail he said no because he thought he was too old to take part I didn’t think so the adults took tails so why can’t he? In addition to that they were older than him so I didn’t think he was too old are you kidding me? So he did not take a tail.

When the other people received their tails they put them on and helped their little ones to put them on Paris thought it was fun having a tail on because Paris like well-loved fluffy soft things like teddy bears and the tails were fluffy (well I think fluffy) and soft but she didn’t really like the colour the colour was brownish and she didn’t really like that.

Then everyone sat down within the setup of the stage, the actor was spinning howling like a wolf! The projector was used within the theatre the film showed a story of an It like the actor himself. You needed a green mark on your forehead to show that you lived in the forest with the It family so we got green face paint on out forehead Paris got it on her forehead and her nose. Just then next to the screen coming from the projector was a big glowing ball that changed colours! It was amazing but strange it was strange because the glowing ball was shown in the film and the It got lost but he followed the ball it was very strange but good so we can have a closer look at the ball the one next to the projector.

A little bit later when the It was still lost he found the forest! But he saw something dreadful a machine was tearing the forest apart! It was total torture! BUT WAIT A SECOND he found the same red door that was in the theatre! He peered once through the red door but it was like a totally different world…… but when he looked again he found his family after that he was walking through the red door in the theatre!!!!! In celebration of his arrival the adults, kids and toddles/baby’s danced (well jumped and span) and howled with joy!

A question for Paris “What did you think of the show Dusk?”

“ I HATE the name because it doesn’t match any bit any bit of the film or the acting! Well the only thing I liked about the show was the……

TAILS!!!!!!!!! Paris replied.

The following 5 photographs were taken before, during and after the theatre visit. They were chosen as evidence of the theatre visit and that we took part in the interactive elements of the performance, including having our faces painted and wearing tails.

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Log Entry 3

Critical reflections on theatre visits

Theatre Event: Afro Vibes

Website: http://www.afrovibesuk.com/

Date: 13 to 18 October

This entry and the next one are in relation to the Afro Vibes Theatre Festival. I went to two different plays in the festival, Rhetorical and Rainbow Scars.

Play: Rhetorical

Date: 16 October

+             When I entered the theatre schoolchildren class was in the audience sitting in the front seats.

  • Nelson Mandela president of South Africa.

+     Videos show of dedication to Nelson Mandela, when the race is one it would succeed in our own.

+     Act to come out dancing- stage set up books are on the floor and at actor is looking at the books, speaking in his own language.

  • Very funny- big dodder – story telling, poetic- academic disclosure- doing- thinking- music used- after the actor picks up the books with excellent knowledge of what all the books are.
  • Actress on stage talking about Mandela intentions- talking about Mandela’s, knees- regimes- white main trees- people- moving peacefully.

+     Spotlight on actor giving spectacular speech- other actor enters both fighting for the microphone.

+         Speech- background people marching. Then come on stage march in with revrum – showing protection on back of stream– singing BV it should be rich, rich, rich in rehearsals—

+           actors talking- about new South Africa- actors on my talking about the people of Africa- stories- poverty – shame.

+           Consideration of each actor.

+             Actors carrying- box- tips- house- on back- fire- no electricity- house made out of iron- house burnt down- woman washing clothes.

  • Homelessness- lost every think- for the second time- stressed out- doesn’t want poverties show- struggle- life.

+       Vote for change. One actor- in spotlight other in background.

+       Eight children from different men and don’t get support from government and sister children. Her sister died- one Bros Child mental illness- brother- grandmother- 23 moth to feed and only one pension- and child great teenager problematic.

+         Going through names in native tongue- talking about poverty at the blink- gods forgot- being condemned for caring for baby

  • showed video- Hitler world war two- showed a Abraham Lincoln- I had a dream that whites and blacks can socialise.

+         Winston Churchill all World War II Prime Minister- politics- country- two nations- politicise

+         made movement funny- free actors are running- guns- shooting- using dancing- with guns in hand- dancing- fun.

+           Re-force- who- more- powerful use music.

+         Beating women – pregnant-taking them away- drugs all about money -many of us-work-gangs-terror rise-24 seven -every thousand crimes each one crime. There are only 77 convictions.

+   Cat like wild tiger-jalwa is a car— laugh   -pointing the gun to the audience gun delay time made it very funny.

+ Two actors speaking over one another’s dialogue-music used- my baby don’t care-dancing- flirting- fun- funny.

+             Actor Doctor very sincere- but very funny- use miming- accompanied by sad music.

+             From rags to riches got job- dance workmen with River McCall sound.

+               Woman walks on stage slender dance tango with actor music used Roxsam – very funny audience loved it.

+   Actor workmen were seduced by actress that was dancing actor workmen went home to wife. He danced with his wife.

+ Act to claim workmen was sick- used red scar as a symbol of blood- s sickness – Aids – message scafe represented sickness- Dr examined workmen- Dr use sign of the cross- no hope- died.

+         Death- angel of death- carried workmen’s body off- Dr- dispenser of death= HIV AIDS- giving messages to get rid of- terrace tests- aids found- HIV-positive- must be shipped to the death camp- exterminated- mad Dr

+       war- fighting- Parliament politics- play fighting, very funny.

  • Sure of two actors ending scene washing music- are they Maria in the background.

+     Two women actors speaking over each other protest on projections.

+         Actors enter singing and dancing. One actor telling the story and the other one dancing, making it very funny- singing just brings my machine gun.

  • Actors use different scarfs and hats to resemble different characters- tribes feeling what they do traumatic experience- music

+       Questions and answers

Feeling human- associated a lot in similar allegations they counted the internal that brought it example balm president because of money situations.

+       Books scattered around- class highlighted some of the things education within urban cultures, no identification- finds it.

+       Look like it mainly covered urban a lot was left out of the play format. Full magically on speeches many different adaptions with in the play, depending on where it was performed.

+     By tape the consumption of it was funny- linked the whole thing together- find a way to keep it fresh.

+       Looks for research on character and use on different abstracts

+       originated from the piece. This had been performed in South Africa, but what different is it bred Brinley one’s again worked very much, but don’t like that.

+           Answer two questions from director performed shows in Africa first did it in market theatre, John Runge barge they loved all the ways and they understood more of the and stereotypes when it went to France. They didn’t know who the characters was and it was a gamble to put on the performance as the risk was to show new audiences as they had no experience of African culture and the characters which was played with in this theatre piece.

Log Entry 4

Critical reflections on theatre visits

Theatre Event: Afro Vibes

Website: http://www.afrovibesuk.com/

Date: 13 to 18 October

Play: Rainbow Scars

Date: 17 October

+Stage set- sofa table 1 chair with actors standing on it, holding a pose changing arm movement.

+   African culture-mother and daughter-light changes goes on to one actor the other actor talking to a teacher-very good dialogue like another person is there.

+   Funny mum and daughter online looking at men rainbow Nations.

+   Other actors standing on chair doing arm movements.

+     Mother black children adoption-support group daughter is black and mother is white rainbow stories

+   talking to judge about bowel to get out.

+     Segregation passport control raises the issue about mother and daughter actress comments stick it up your fat ass -very funny as it came from a white middle-class actres

+   actress using stripping sounds good drama emphasis.

+     Main actor very good- extremely clear cultures use their blackness when applying for university.

+     Corruption paid someone paid cops money.

+     Actors on witness stand, giving character reference for husband.

+       Class money –identity- division- between- mum upper-class.

+         Some humorous moments backing house- crimes- 80%.

+           Spoke in native tongue.

+           Different models beliefs because of different culture backgrounds.

+           Good emotional content in right places.

+         Giving story of what happened using hand with movement through voice and movement together very effective.

+         Dance movement to express anger through actors.

+           South Africa works of the rich and not for the poor.

+           Very dominant- now actor got shot and killed tragically ended life goes on in rainbows stories

Below are two photos of the theatre progamme for the Afro Vibes Festival.

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Log Entry 5

Critical reflection on theatre visit

Play: Mandela

Date: 17 October

  • They used blackboards on the stage against a circular chairs around the edge of the stage- on the boards were written- the future-marries-politics- school- passions- there was too blank boards what was the blank balls for I was thinking?

+       The stage setting- very interesting the setting of the stage very basic, but the chairs were set up around the back and at the sides of the stage and at the back there was a drum.

+       The youth theatre was introduced – the opening scene was a group of two different young actors and actresses. There was a set of boys and a set of girls. The Girls behaviour and the way they moved were like a boy, the gills at attitude of the boys and the boy’s behaviour was like the girls so they swapped roles.

  • The young actors made contact eye contact with the audience the boys were encouraging one of the boys actors to to communicate with the gale actor and the girls were encouraging one of the gills actors to communicate one of the boys.

+           The all the actors were females there were eight actresses on stage. They were singing, but also writing on the black couple’s text talking and giving directions of a clue they are within the planning of the story. They had a map on the floor which represented different continents different parts of the country.

+     These were the different parts of the country is named 1-graaffrenet-2 matatleie. 3 mhatha.     4 East Cape . 5 grahams town. 6 . Port Elizabeth . 7 East London.

  • Giving stories of different things linking what they are and talking about parent’s dad’s etc.
  • sitting on chairs all the actors focuses on one act two at the time they were facing the front.

+           Story of parents and happenings- stick patient- despair- sadness- eight then a workshops- within the performance testimonies of life stories- reality contents- song- reality songs the whole’s apart must come down to Africa will be saved- singing in African language.

+           Two actresses- political- medical stories of HIV-positive with in the emotional content with in the story.

+         On the back of the chairs, said- if you could go back in time- emotional content good way to draw the audience attention.

+             Acting with rap- using the chairs as a class school set up stories with song about having another chance and the group of actresses was singing together unitedly

+           Religions content opposing about religion, and religious groups- one actress was being opposed with conflict.

+             Humour part funny- born again Christian – with opposing views- using for S when changing sentimental and sad- testimonies- brother died.

+             It buying the audience into the performance with the emotional content element of very strong focus on the storytellers

+       Singing with a motion or content links to testimonies and strong united team work.

+         Politics within Africa- joking about politicians.

+         Change in South Africa government- no libraries.

+         Use of props changing chairs using space within the song they sang- men, their act like boys joke 9 mm shouts mammal’s name.

+             Changed frame steel frame- using drum playing sports.

+   The performance of HIV-positive- they use dance, grammar and house- beaver boy reggae -verge

+       Song Africa cultural can care with dance—

+         -future– all individuals same what they wanted to be       .

+         Singing on earth when you have a new child-song I am we are closer-good way of using singing and real testimonies.

This show showed reduces of song and real live testimonies showed stories of South African women giving their testimonies through poetry, song and acting

Log entry 6

Critical Reflection on Class Notes and Readings

6 October 2014

The generation of postmemory sent to Ben

The Generation

Abstract Postmemory shows relationship between the second Generationboften experiencing dramatic events that focuses on passed memories of the holoacaust which direct powerful dramatic experience the safe keeping of the holoacaust is passed onto us and this transferred knowledge is transmuted into history.

The postgeneration

The guardianship of the holoacaust received transferable knowledge engaging into history. Sense of living connection have some personal urgency within the guardianship of dramatic passed Susan Sontag (2003) stronly describe s the pain of others? What are victims can memory’s of gencide transform into action resistance? Raul Hibrg (1985) going through documents book thirteen one hundred paged book skilled astoricons learn to tell different history’s, destruction of the Jews in Embodies by poetry and nartiue Dlana Taylor (2003) repertoire of embodied knowledge abstnt and archives holocaust work within the second generation war after second hand smoke war story five years silence loosing the dead.

Poetics today

Memory that is transmitted not within these living events post or after qualifieing agectives and autobiograpial and second generation writers trouble connecting within feminism issues . Postmemory connected with past happenings that continue to work within the present, why does transmission raise a question within the memory structure of the holoacaust? To capture the past history of the holoacaust they used photographic images the photos medlation and the history of the holoacaust is down to us.

Transmission events of unimaginable memory studies interdisciplinary and postdisciplay within the holoacaust istorical frame and then tranumaic transfers postmery world war memories broad cuitural, format of living memories into archive in the regaurd to the children of the hollycaust process by a history that they have never lived or experienced,the memories not memories war time of experience’s and flashing of imagery.

Breaking in transmission recreates rememberance reconnect family cultural unit,in body form memory which then transcribe three to four generations acroos the eight to one hundred years group memory family transmission in body’s experience to the next generation.

Information is not esecifically account in regaurd to introduce by collective historical trauma by war under the nazis culture archive and the archive with tramic interrution lost it direct link to the past , but forget community society desribe by national memory as apposes and medlate by photographer.

Why the family?

Raped in silence and the language of the family nighmares and idioms signs of illness long term affects os living close proxlmity to pain and depression and survive the historical trauma and used pubic images to a dopte family albums family languages reembody a cuitural/archival .

Image from first man imagine further experience with in Auschwittz reference as a wider cirualted know as famillal gaze internal imagery is powerful.

Child of survive distinctiveness of specifically famillal second generation identity structure of famtay and progectom a share archive story, famillal as afflinte Postmemory.

New locations trauma with inspace of the family personalised was over wellmin because of the separation with in memory calutal/archive memory was much more then oual or writen anarative photo images showed survivor’s and lost past world, which opened windows to pass materialzing the relation to it therefor,the inscription of narrative or moral emotions of empathy.

Would like to use these two main paragraphs

I imagined seeing her walking down the street in a summer dress and light weight gabardine coat,said Austerlitz: among the group of ghetto residents out of a stoll,she alone seemed to make staight at me, coming closer with every step,unlast I thought I could sense her steping out of of the frame and passing over to me.

In the audience at a consert,set a little way back and close to the upper edge of the frame,the face of a young woman appears, bearly emerging from the back of the shadows around it… she looks, so I tell my self as I watched,just a I imagined the singr Agáta from my faint memories and the few other clues to her appearance that I have now,and I gaze and gaze againat the face witch seem to me both strange and familiar, said Austerlitz.

Nazi death machine

The lies about the Auschwiz numbers that when though the nazi death machine the exisax number is unknown and throught photos objects e.g necklace that someone that owned photo images of the necklace which has been recognised by a family member within the next generation from family pictures

Log entry 7

Reflection on Class Activity

Archives and Ontology of Performance

6 September 2014

Archives & Ontology of performance

Cecilia Sosa


Reading is vital because it helps one to familiarise themselves with vocabulary. It also enables the one to be more aware of their own work both on stage and off stage hence being more reflective of own practice.

  • Consider practical vs theoretical side.
  • Ask yourself what’s being portrayed, why the writing? Etc.

Performance and disappearance: The art of the present/always at the vanishing point.

Article 1: Matthew Reason’s ‘Archive or Memory?’

Brief summary of Group 1’s presentation – New type of archive i.e. written and recorded. There is a connection between them and how you can relate to it. Disappearance of the performers’ work for instance remembering their performance.

Question to ponder: What happens in the moment of live theatre?

‘Theatre not the art of the present.’

Reviews might not necessarily depict the objective opinions but a partial review of events.

Group 2 – physical objects and memories. Live performances can be watched, may be about the experience of it. Reason combines the two because he’s on neither side of the argument. Points out both memory and archives are selective by existence e.g. ticket staff, programmer etc. He presents both pros and cons and decides that neither is superior. Can you get the same/full experience again? Live performance originality can’t be replicated?

Artists and live performance: Barba considers theatre to be the art of the present. Preserving their performance’s i.e artists but scholars were. Desiring to relive the experience.

Note: Legacy is very vital for every artist and that all should endeavour to preserve it.

–              Point raised on archives and bodies by a student: Bodies can become the archive. For example ballet performances might always replicate each other.

The objectivity of the archive – Would it be parallel to memory? A source of shared or collected memory? Is there a memory of the audience? Keeping the memory of the audience alive.

It is crucial to consider both memory and performance in relation to archive. The idea that we are witnessing the power of transformation, the body to body transmission.

  • Re-creating the story when we present articles we have read or experiences we have lived. However, it is almost impossible to replicate the experience.

New performance therefore, involves the memory of the previous performance. Where history and past goes into the future, changing perspective of someone’s memory

  • What value would you attach to archive?
  • Archive is as important as someone that wants to view it.

Rebecca Schneider: She supposes that performance remains.


‘Archives can be sold/bought for a price yet memory can’t.’

There appears to be more development and creativity within memory and archives

Remark: Who makes the choice to include a particular part of an archive? Start to lose small details of performance and if even just little bits are lost, one might never actually get to grasp the whole detail of the performance.

Archive needed to develop or change???

Are we all allowed to create archive or is it just for a few people??

Performance provides us with perspective into worlds.

‘Logic of the archive’ – performance challenges the logic of the archives.

Performance as memory – Performance is more about the re-emergence of something. Creating something new out of the articles for example. The body as collective memory or counter memory, embodied acts and performance.

Carolina Golder presentation: She said; that it’s “easier to organise demonstrations in Buenos Aires than in London.”

Log entry 8

Reflection on Class Activity and Reading

Archives and Memory

6 October 2014

Archive or memory? Of live performance prècis

The positive value of thearter within a live performance and what trainsience and is offen associated with immediate expression to show through trainsience by demonstrating within archive theory and leaves uncertainty within the archive and a value on changing within the thearters livelyness.

Eugennio Barba suggest in a1992 art Etrmatle thet thearter is in the art of the present and George Balanchine for example describes a man who did not give a dame about the past and cared less about the future.

The longing to record the performance is powerful within the contradictory of the matter running through the arts and as connected part of the archive and everything that has any connection with the performance can belong in a archive.

The writer is expressing that the archive was invented to show the historical side of the past and to hold the memory so not forgotten, but there is much contirqeys aspects within the perfomance and the archive proclaims change how within the live performance opens up and changes the dimension within the live performance therefore the archive are both contradictory within archive as the live thearter passes through the moment and the outcome brings change therefore the writer’s main point of the artical is because of the archive and the assistant memory to pass history and because the development through the archive this brings change development within live performance.

Log entry 9

Reflection on Class Notes and Activity

Trauma and Performance

20 October 2014

Going the distance: trauma, social rupture, and the work of repair

By Ellen w. Kaplan

It is imperative to understand communication experience distance this has a connection to the character that the actor is playing they do this by living inside the story and stepping outside of one self.

Therefore this undermines peoples viewpoints and makes a vehicle and social change through thought using stories that heeled people and helped them grow having a feeling of living in someone else’s skin through the character of one self in regard to personal stories and this creates and empathy and distance because of living inside the story because you step out of one self.

When engage this engagement is needed as this gives control over traumatic memory’s and for insight you experience a reaction which gain control over traumatic memory’s which in return rewrites the plot and at the same time honours other positions without disorient which gives good tools to use within engagement and growth but there is a need for critical distance between the actor.

Witness testimony from truth and commission hearings, what does it mean to retell a story? What does it say? What right does an actor have to retell the story? What is the distance part? Also what weight does live experience have? Does it have one type of knowledge?

When doing workshops rumour or soldiers and kidnapping also sadly been killed and the identify to soldiers that become deabt and productive distance was not easy to achieve, during workshops teenagers started to talk and communicated to each other and shared fears and hopes and talking about this war but they were energized by the work it helped break the epic line because before there was no conversation when the teenagers were on the break from the workshop within the workshop the stories expressed different powers for example group identity they did this by using trust exercises and they used slow and soft ones using laughter to cover discomfort.

Within the different groups they identified age, gender, disability, religion, power also power identity’s was exploited horizontal shared power which created control but this is not easy as what I think when I see you or what is true about me and what message have I gave?

Name calling because of your religion or ethnicity can say you may have power or no power stereo typing and power is used as well as practical realization and imagined voice compassionate listening through expressing own stories within role reversal you are commented to hear uncensored story, there two groups one of which are Jewish and the other group is Arab boys.

Within the workshop the two groups of boys worked in pairs one of the boys said from one group said “I admire you.” and the other group replied “I will change something about myself.” “Without listening to the enemy I could not make informed decisions”, when the scripted seen there is no passion or power involved within the characteristic Arab’s and Jews teenagers created together original plays and performed it in public schools when using distance it helps the actor remember what was left out for example whether the character was supposed be showing humour through there acting.

Log entry 10

Reflection on Class Notes and Activity

Feedback on experiences of past events and traumatic stories

20 October 2014

Lecturer: Cecilia

Warm-up activity with Ananda.

–              Deep breathe in, out, down……

Feedback on the experience from Victorian coliseum.

To find out to which extent are the objects political.

Whenever we are in any exhibition, what we are trying to depict is what the story is telling us and how can relate it to the past? Is there any connection, anything to learn?

The session:

Argentina’s post-dictatorship context:

Finding their lost relatives. A lady found her grandson.

Biological link to the way of identifying themselves. Quite surreal yet the ‘babies’ are now much older.

Guardians of the national mourning. Trauma beyond bloodlines

Judie Dench’s film.

Group 1 presentation on Escraches:

Mobilising trauma. Bringing together their individual traumas.

Issue of justice. Give it to themselves through escraches to bring their trauma to those that brought it to them.

Proponent of change – about what happens afterwards rather than prior to.

Neighbour could be any well-wisher and this could be important to help further their agenda. Being seen as actors, they use this platform to show the grief for family members.

Identity being challenged – could have been the dictatorship vs the current change.

Silence condones behaviour or allows complacency. They killed in the past because they thought the people would be silent in the future. Everyone involved gets their identity challenged.

Group 2:

Engages with past memory vs post-memory. Seeks to uncover shame and trauma to be confronted. Movement rooted in the present and those meanings can be used to confront these issues.

Forced reconciliation.

Trauma theory through his case study – transmission of memory drawing from our own experience (Diego Benegas 2014).

  1. Taylor

She discusses that it has to be wide spread otherwise without people’s involvement, it wouldn’t work to expectation. Researching about the feeling of involvement. She’s basically researching on her own experience. The emotions that were spread being contagious, body to body transmission of embodied, was surreal to her.

A form of political empowerment. The big question to ponder is how those who haven’t faced violence can comprehend it. Through escraches, it is assumed that the traumatic experience can be passed on to those who didn’t participate. Cultural agency, the power to understand the how power is being transmitted.

Political demonstrations closes trauma because it offers a platform for formal closure, repair, eliminating self-pity, legitimising the occurrence or the fact that such stuff happened. Uses case study and builds on it in a theoretical way. Performance and trauma always repeat itself.

Trauma brings one back to the painful event e.g. war, death of loved one. Both felt in the present ie performance and trauma.

Building a new theoretical framework to address the Argentinian case. Traumatic experience might be transmittable but is inseparable from the subject who suffers it.

Impossible claim (political claim) of the Argentinian mothers.

DNA of performance – related to a biological linkage between generations. Kinship relations of Argentinian families. Genetically, politically and performatively.

Scientific – is the archive i.e. the evidence of bones found providing closure to families of the deceased.

Mothers become living archives, evidence.

Grandmothers –

Children –

Design your own example of DNA of performance – develop a performative strategy of participation and identification with traumatic past that can ‘capture’ the spectator. Portrait the audience as inheritor of that traumatic past.

Stage your performance.

Log entry 11

Reflection on Class Notes and Activity

Trauma, Germany and Comparisons with London Riots

10 November 2014

Juridical Performance and Memory (week 7)


Lecturer : Dr Christina Papagiannouli

Email: c.papagiannouli@uel.ac.uk

  1. Hannah to lead yoga
  2. Performances and discussions
  3. Discuss readings
  1. Yoga warm-up

Breathe in, Lean back, breath in, right and left leg back, plank position, stretch out, left leg back, and plank position, breathe in right and left leg in slowly come up at the count of six.

Zipzapzop game played in a circle

  1. Performances and discussions

Act 1


It was about Germany.

The dogs represent the pawns in the family.

We changed it to the theme of the London riots.

We wanted to make the dogs more human.


One student liked the video playing in the background.   It was very interesting. The play was contrasted from Ubu to the London Riot in order to illustrate something that we are familiar with. It was good for the characters to have been moving around. However the central character could have moved about a bit more.

Questions from performers

  1. Did the riots’ theme work?
  2. Yes the use of animals was good

Others thought of Othello.

  1. Why did you pick the London Riots?
  2. London Riots is still relevant as the young people people where happy to go along with it. People acting like dogs and just doing it.
  3. Did you start with the text or physicality?
  4. We wanted dogs to go around and make the audience feel uncomfortable. We also wanted to use puppetry. We wanted you to lose all humanity and be more like dogs.


Just breathe whilst you are acting. London Riots are close to you and you can talk about something that you know. What was unclear was the other two characters, why they were running around. Drug addicts would move towards an object but they may do so in a\ slow way.

Act 2


Looked at the idea of Traumatisation. Ubu process behind making it. There were other ways of making it through the process of documentation. We were sympathising with the part of Ubu. We were playing the puppeteer as in the police officer. It was a true experience. I felt at ease to talk in the first person. There was a distance which I thought keeps us apart like the legislation. It is linked very well. You could sede the play as a child asking for something whilst the mum is talking to the brother. Also as in the courtroom.

It is theatre but it is honest. I liked the connection between drawing and colouring. Although Pat (Performer) was on the floor she held power by asking for more crayons. Drawing can be expressing and leaving the trouble behind.


  1. Where did you get the inspiration?
  2. Courtroom drawings as no pictures are allowed to be taken instead there are drawings.
  3. Why was the ending incomplete?
  4. We wanted it to feel unfinished.


The contrast of the jury sitting and not standing. It was clear that there are power relationships but in contrast. You were very clear in how you used the readings. Pink and red colour signified the pain he felt. How the jury can press the answers out. It would have been nice if Pat (performer) kept drawing and didn’t stop.

Act 3


We wanted to make it more honest. Instead of using puppets, we wanted to use humans. We wanted to use technology as it is an important part of probatum theatre. The backdrop was good as we could feel like we could walk on. I liked the lighting as we could see your heads properly.


  1. How do you feel about us using humans? A. The fragmentedness still gives relevance to you using humans.
  2. How do you feel if we had used Afrikaans language from South-Africa?
  3. I think another language would have worked strongly if one would be translating in English.
  4. Can any of you speak another language?
  5. One of us speaks German
  6. Do you think you should have used another language?
  7. Also you could have used a different language just to play with the idea of translation.


The spacing of Actors could have been done better. I liked how you used humans and not puppets. We were not able to see the text clearly as all actors where in front of the projector. It was interesting that you started talking together but you did not end up talking together.

Act 4

We wanted to stick to the script abstract. We looked at being human. We looked at puppetry in terms of mimicking what was going on. Women tend to kill the trauma when they say that their husband is cheating. Women choose not to express their feelings in a relationship. The Government is symbolic of the man. The woman is symbolic of the public. The cast is all females yet the script is male dominated which made it interesting. It was a beautiful imagery to illustrate what would happen when Sasha (Performer) answered in. Keep your secrets means she’s defending herself.


  1. Did the gender matter in terms of identifying who was man and woman?
  2. At first we couldn’t tell, but later unconsciously it showed.
  3. How did you decide who was going to be which character?
  4. Whatever we could relate to the most made us choose our characters.


It was really interesting about having two scenes at the same time. If the other is physical; the other can be less physical

End of today’s performances.

  1. Discuss readings

Sessions Questions Lecture notes

  • Picture of Pistorius

How might theatrical performances relate to theatrical Performances in terms of Pistorius’ case?

How the media was live streaming. The debates became a performance. Although real people may have been talking about the truth, they may have been acting. There is a difference in being at home or at a meeting place.

  • The (New) trial of Socrates

What Socrates said before he died in text. They tried to re-enact the facts that they had. It became a performance. Actual judges went to court to re-enact Socrates.

What do you think this is? A performance or reality? They asked the new jury to vote whether Socrates should be sentenced to death. This society is much different. If you get a case and put it in different countries and times it can be tried differently. If Pistorius was in a different country it would mean sterner punishment. The audience would not send Socrates to death.

Gacaca mean’s ‘ judgement on the grass.’ A clip of Gacaca is shown. On the grass, prisoners wear pink and are tried by the

Log entry 12

Reflection on Class Notes and Activity

Performance, Applied Drama and Memory

17 November 2014

Anka Performance artist

Talked about how she voted yesterday. She was in a huge que to vote. Last night it was victory and there was no revolution in Romania as was the expectation. 25 years ago there was the fall of the burning wall in Germany. In Romania there was an anti-communist revolution.

In her work Memory is driven by the concept of how the social and political dynamics affect the political dynamics. She did a lot of training in her BA in drama. She then worked in Applied Drama. She talked of the difficulty of being hired for life in Romania by the theatre company if you sought out a job. Also the aspect of the theatre is repertoire and you can’t act what you want to. She is developing participative and immersive theatre project.

Why did she start to work with Memory?

She took the history of her people very personal. The Romanians have been called the generfation with a key on their necks. My parents never told me their experience of the communist. It was illegal not to work. You were put into different prison like institutions if you were against the government. The orthodox religion was the legal religion at that time and any other religion was not allowed. They made the people move around the country so that they would have no friends and family. Also, that they would not form attachments or love and therefore no power.

When I was 12 years old, there was no electricity as the government was saving electricity. I remember my parents talking about two dictators and the shortage of food. The dictators were my parents and I did want to know about how they were making my family suffer. The dictators made a lot of people go into exile. In a way I think theatre of testimonies is important to voice our issues and our identity. I started talking about exile now I will talk about immigration. We do not want to stay in that country but we want our friends and family.


  1. The south is the place of your childhood
  2. The north is where you are now

We will travel from south to north. I would like you to think of your unpleasant or a difficult moment in your childhood. Walk around, if you are in north or south, you can imagine what it is about your childhood. Focus on your inner self in the south side. Remember the smell or your temperature at that time.

Now let us go to the North side.

What you are experiencing right now. What the present means for you.

Start to be aware of your thoughts and the relation of the people in your life. Consider that event that I asked you to memorize in the south. Also try to think why this event has changed in your life. Try not to cross again to the south at this moment. We will start to move from South to North. In the South you are in the past. In the North you are in the future.

You are doing the right thing. Try to focus and imprint in your body who you are today and who you were in the past. To exit lets be in the middle between south and north. How does it feel? Slowly try to come out of this state slowly.

How does it feel? Did you thin k about your bodies? Its interesting what memories you have.


I did it in my mind whilst I was sitting. It was more like a journey.

Which was more depressing north or south?

How was your body?

How did you experience your body?

When was your body more present in the present or the past?

In your groups for 10 minutes talk about the event you were thinking of and talk about the event you would like to present in front of us.

I will now relate the story of one lady in Romania who worked on the seaside at a hotel. Her mother said do not talk to strangers, do not take money from anyone and do not tell anyone your secrets. The owner of the hotel thought the girl was taking money for the portraits that she had been painting of foreigners who visited the hotel.   The police came and interviewed her and found no prove of taking money other than making portraits of them for free. The British foreigners then made a protest in favor of the lady in Romania.

Dori Loub is someone who wrote extensively about the holocaust prisons about Jewish people. He went to America and he started his archive. It was about their experiences. It was also about memory and how things come out. This is how interviews can help us bring out memories.

What do you think ab out the truth?

Anka talks of a woman whom was accused of not seeing four chimneys burning by the police who said there was one chimney burning at the scene.

Dispeace – interviewers are members of the audience. However are they able gto claim the truth as the truth?

In my own project I’m trying to remember what is officicial culture of Romania. How do we get to choose what is the truth about this election?

In your groups decide how you chose your stories.


  1. Things that did not make us vulnerable
  2. Strategy
  3. We felt related to the story

I talked to a lady I interviewed in Russia who was 94 years old.   She said “The things are so hard that I can’t talk about it.” Traumatic events are really hard to be voice. We still need to make an intellectual relation to it. For us in Eastern Europe we do not have a word for trauma.

Is it important where we are having this conversation today?

I feel context is very important. Labelling is very western but actually it is not very appropriate.

Trauma is in the context and can change many things. Only when I thought this is traumatic it became traumatic to me.   Most of the intellectuals were locked up in mental health institutions. Therefore Romanians are afraid of psychiatrists to make you forget what you wanted to say.

Now work in groups on the story in context. Think as theatre directors if you were to create it how would you show it to the audience?

Preparation for the audience. To look at your reading. What do I mean by preparation? By working with people who are not actors. Tonos and Shakner talked about what ritual does to us. For example we came from one space, from our homes. We are coming from a place we are then transformed. We are not what we have been but we are not yet what we will become.

The middle is what a religious ritual can transform us in awareness. Awareness between what I was and what I will become. The middle is what a religious ritual can transform us in an awareness. This is between what I was and what I will become. Communitas is what happens in an audience. They have started a transformation together and they have left afterwards. Turner says we have to put things in a sense of illuminate.

When people where coming to the performance they had to que in front of me. All were British or Romanian. When asked why are we staying in a que? Romanian s remembered about the B read que. The English people where asking the Romanians what was it about? It was a preparation corridor forf what they were going to see.

Think of how you are going to create a preparation corridor for your chosen context. Put us in a state where we can understand d and make sense of a story.

How was the process of creating this experience?

Has this been helpful for you as a creator to pull out things you never thought of?


It was therapeutic

Theatre of testimonies is a place where you can share stories and try to make sense for you or other people. You showed people how you got there an d left space for them to experience your story.

How am I working with personal experiences for people? How am I documenting the story? However the audiences were not completely trained. Therefore they need a trigger to connect with the performance.

community. The witness has no remorse. A lady in the crowd gets very emotional. This was at the time of war. Therefore anyone you might know could have killed your family member. Since it was people who lived together, it had to be based on forgiveness. It was Rwandans against Rwandans.

The Riots, UK

Performative and Perfomance. A play on the Riots. Gillian who wrote the play commented that ‘theatre places the humanity back.’ We can hope that people can understand each other when they listen to each other’s voices. Gillian also comments that ‘too many people have nothing to lose; as the reason behind the riots. However a public enquiry might help. A BBC radio 4 discussion was played in class about the Riots. This makes us think about the way the data is collected and what testimonies are being used. We needed to hear from the victim and the police. Mohammed is said to hold the emotional flow of the play. It was interesting the aspect of being a criminal and a victim at the same time.

A play by Alecky Blythe

Little Revolution.

You can have a memory of that day the Riots took place. However can others memory of the riot be trusted. Also the concept of right or wrong choices.

Performing justice- Breed

  • Local and global

You can play with different settings in different places.

  • Justice system vs Theatre
  • Fear led people to kill
  • Witnessing and embodiment leads to trauma healing

Please send E-Portfolio link tothis week.

Amanda Breed: a.breed@uel.ac.uk


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