Transcultural trajectories in Italian Theatre
This project studies how the collective re-writing and mise en scène of plays by theatre companies and migrants facilitate inclusion and enhance new forms of belonging.
Mass migrations caused mainly by environmental changes and international conflicts call for effective strategies to increase the level of inclusion and avoid social tensions.
This research investigates new effective strategies to increase social inclusion through Teatro Sociale / Applied Theatre (the making of the individual and the community through performing arts), studying how the active participation to the artistic process enables migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to shape new forms of cultural and social belonging.
The project focuses on the performances and the interactions between writers, actors and non-professional performers in three theatre companies in Italy to identify best practices and streamline them into paradigms that can be eventually applied in Australia.
The aim of this project is also to evaluate the broad social impact of Social Theatre in Italy, assessing if performing arts as practice of transcultural encounter may initiate a change in perspective and approach towards controversial topics such as migration and inclusion.
The collective re-writing and mise en scène of plays by theatre companies and migrants may create novel syncretic spaces, where culture, myth and storytelling can be in dialogue with each other, inspiring new forms of artistic and political intervention, identity and belonging.
As part of this research project, a theatre workshop was organised in Melbourne in collaboration with Wellsprings for Women, a Dandenong based association that provides programs for women, locally and from emerging communities. To conduct the workshop we invited Brussels-based writer Dr Ubah Cristina Ali Farah and dramatist Giuseppe Massa, founder of the Sicilian theatre company Sutta Scupa. The project involved six meetings over two weeks and during these sessions; the participants practised drama exercises and worked on a few key scenes created ad hoc by the director. They were performed in Dari/Farsi, Somali and English at a final community event, attended by participants’ families, friends and the local community. As shown in the final anonymous survey, the participants found the experience meaningful and enjoyable, and saw it as an opportunity to familiarise themselves with theatre as a new form of empowerment.
During their stay in Melbourne, both guests where involved in events and talks.
Dr Tess Do and Dr Laura Lori in conversation with Dr Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, trailblazer poet, novelist, playwright and oral performer.
Dr Ubah Cristina Ali Farah reads ‘Jujube’, the English translation by Hope Campbell Gustafson of her short story ‘I capelli del giuggiolo’, published in Banthology, edited by Sarah Cleave for Comma Press.
Dr Laura Lori reads Ali Farah’s ‘I capelli del giuggiolo’.
Event in English organised at the Institute of Postcolonial Studies on 23rd October 2019 with Dr Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Mr Giuseppe Massa, Dr Laura Lori & Dr Suzanne Hermanoczki.
Antigone, the protagonist of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, is the symbol of rebellion against an ethically inadmissible law and disobedience when human dignity and life are at stake. Dr Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Mr Giuseppe Massa, Dr Laura Lori & Dr Suzanne Hermanoczki explore how Antigone, writing, and collective performance allow us to imagine rebellion and challenge what is morally unacceptable. The panel also discusses how artists and academics can facilitate the creation of novel syncretic spaces where culture, myth and storytelling can be in dialogue with each other, inspiring new forms of artistic and political intervention, identity, and belonging. Event in English organised at the Institute of Postcolonial Studies on 23rd October 2019.
Interview in Italian, recorded at SBS Radio in Melbourne in October 2019, discussing the theatre workshop.
Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Giuseppe Massa and Laura Lori are the creators of a theatre workshop aimed at women of migrant origin, in collaboration with the Wellspring for Women association, which is part of a project that explores important social issues through performance. Interview in Italian recorded at SBS Radio in Melbourne, in October 2019.
I acknowledge that all the recording were made on the land of the Wurundjeri people and I acknowledge the elders past present and in the making who live here. This is stolen land and it always was always will be aboriginal land.
ACIS – Australasian Centre for Italian Studies