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International Review of Education

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 265–287 | Cite as

Popular theatre and nonformal education in the Third World: Five strands of experience

  • Ross Kidd
Part I: Candles In The Storm

Abstract

Popular theatre is gaining increasing attention in the Third World as a tool for popular education and community organizing. It finds expression in a number of forms including drama, music dance, puppetry and poetry and is performed for — and often by — ordinary peasants and workers. Popular theatre is used as a means of bringing people together, building confidence and solidarity, stimulating discussion, exploring alternative options for action, and building a collective commitment to change: starting with people's urgent concerns and issues, it encourages reflection on these issues and possible strategies for change.

Popular theatre, however, is not a unified discipline. It is used by different groups for different interests, ranging from a technocratic, message-oriented ‘domestication theatre’ at one end of the spectrum to a process of consciousness-raising, organization-building and struggle at the other end. Five main strands of popular theatre can be distinguished: (a) the struggle for national liberation; (b) mass education and rural extension; (c) community or participatory development; (d) ‘conscientization’ or popular education; and (e) popular education and organizing.

At its best, popular theatre is not an isolated performance or a cathartic experience, but part of an ongoing process of education and organizing, aimed at overcoming oppression and dependence, and at securing basic rights.

Keywords

Popular Theatre Mass Education National Liberation Popular Education Participatory Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Zusammenfassung

Als ein Instrument der Volksbildung und der Gemeinwesenarbeit gewinnt das Volkstheater in der Dritten Welt ständig an Aufmerksamkeit. Es findet Ausdruck in einer Vielzahl von Formen wie Drama, Musik, Tanz, Puppentheater und Poesie. Es wird aufgeführt für — und häufig von — einfachen Bauern und Arbeitern. Volkstheater wird eingesetzt, um Menschen zusammenzuführen, Vertrauen und Solidarität aufzubauen, eine Diskussion anzuregen, alternative Möglichkeiten für Aktionen zu erforschen und um, ausgehend von dringenden Belangen und Fragen, gemeinschaftliche Verpflichtung zur Veränderung der Verhältnisse aufzubauen. Überdies ermutigt es zu Reflektionen zu solchen Fragen und möglichen Strategien für Veränderung.

Volkstheater ist jedoch keine einheitliche Disziplin. Es wird von unterschiedlichen Gruppen für verschiedenartige Interessen verwendet. Diese reichen vom technokratischen, Nachrichtenorientierten ‘Domestizierungstheater’ an einem Ende des Spektrums zu einem Prozeß der Bewußtseinserweiterung, des Organisationsaufbauens und des Kampfes am anderen Ende. Es können fünf Hauptrichtungen des Volkstheaters unterschieden werden: (a) der Kampf um nationale Befreiung; (b) die Massenschulung und Ausweitung in ländlichen Gebieten; (c) die Gemeinwesen-oder partizipatorische Entwicklung; (d) die ‘Bewußtmachung’ oder Volksbildung; und (e) Volksbildung und -organisierung.

In seiner höchsten Form ist Volkstheater weder eine isolierte Veranstaltung noch ein kathartisches Erlebnis, sondern Teil eines weiterführenden Prozesses der Erziehung und des Organisierens mit dem Ziel, Unterdrückung und Abhängigkeit zu überwinden und Grundrechte zu sichern.

Résumé

Le théâtre populaire jouit dans le Tiers Monde d'un intérêt de plus en plus grand en tant qu'instrument d'éducation populaire et d'organisation de la communauté. Il trouve son expression dans un grand nombre de formes comprenant l'art dramatique, la musique, la danse, les marionnettes et la poésie; il est joué pour, et souvent, par de simples paysans et ouvriers. Le théâtre populaire est un moyen utilisé pour rassembler les peuples, faire naître la confiance et la solidarité, stimuler la discussion, prospecter les options alternatives pour l'action et élaborer un engagement collectif pour le changement.

Cependant, le théâtre populaire n'est pas une discipline homogène. Il est utilisé par différents groupes et à des fins différentes allant du théâtre technocratique de ‘domestication’ orienté vers le message, au début de la gamme, au processus d'élévation de la conscience, de formation de l'organisation et de lutte, pour terminer. On peut distinguer cinq grandes tâches dans le théâtre populaire: (a) la lutte pour l'indépendance nationale; (b) l'éducation de masse et le développement rural; (c) le développement communautaire ou participatoire; (d) la ‘conscientisation’ ou l'éducation populaire; et (e) l'éducation populaire et l'organisation.

Pour dire le mieux, le théâtre populaire n'est pas une exécution isolée ni une expérience cathartique, mais c'est la partie d'un processus continu d'éducation et d'organisation visant à supprimer l'oppression et la dépendence, et à garantir les droits fondamentaux.

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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1985

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  • Ross Kidd

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