Intercultural Performance Ecologies in the Making: Minor(ity) Theatre and the Greek Crisis
Drawing from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s nuanced iterations on minor literature and the rhizome trope, this chapter opens up a series of intricate vistas to interrogate the currency of emerging intercultural performance ecosystems and/or new interweaving performance cultures in contemporary performances of the refugee and migrant condition on the contemporary geography of the Greek hybrid minor stage and society. At the intersection between European Union social policies and laws, Greek paradigms of intercultural performance—not just as an aesthetic construct but also as a social policy in line with the EU’s ascending rhetoric of interculturalism—and Ric Knowles’ theorization of performance ecologies, this analysis further seeks to provide new insights into the ways real-life narratives of underrepresented communities, performance, and society centrifugally intercede in the confrontation between dominant/host and subordinate/guest cultures by destabilizing master narratives around asylum issues through ethically engaged representational practices of the refugee crisis in verbatim theatre within the crisis stricken host nation. Through a selection of minoritarian ecosophy paradigms stemming from theatre semiotics to the processes of cultural reception, this chapter brings together interculturalism and performance to explore aesthetic, cultural, and political representations of refugeeness, forced migration, displacement, liminality, citizenship, statelessness and community theatre as a medium of social integration. In line with these premises and the questions they raise, the chapter looks at representations of refugee narratives in the work of the community theatre group Station Athens comprising refugees/actors from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Bangladesh living in Athens, Greece and directed by Yiolanda Markopoulou—and the productions of E-Fyga (I_Left) (2014), We are the Persians (2015), and Mesa-Zontes (Inter-Mediates) (2016) presented at the Hellenic Festival and the Athens Biennale among other venues.
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