Staging Port Cities: Place and Nation in the Theatre of Yuyachkani, Bando de Teatro Olodum and Catalinas Sur.
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This doctoral thesis examines theatre as a site for counteracting hegemonic representations of the nation. My focus is on three contemporary Latin American theatre companies and the ways in which they stage the sense of place of the port cities where they are based. By examining these groups’ explorations of the political and social imaginaries related to these ports, I aim to determine how theatre can challenge essentialised discourses of national identity. An examination of the Peruvian theatre group Yuyachkani allows me to look at the place of indigenous peoples in Lima. Through a discussion of Catalinas Sur, based in Buenos Aires, I highlight the cultural identities newly produced and those erased as a consequence of mid-nineteenth-century European immigration to the city. The focus on Bando de Teatro Olodum facilitates a consideration of struggles against racial discrimination towards Afro-Brazilians in Salvador, Bahia. I propose close readings of specific productions devised by these troupes that concentrate on three main topics. The first of these is migration, examining how foreigners have infused difference in these ports. The second theme looks at conceptions of time and the third considers notions of space. In all three cases the focus allows for a questioning of dominant discourses on modernity, order and progress. Such rhetoric has been equally predominant in Peru, Brazil and Argentina and has justified exclusivist accounts of the nation since the early histories of these republics. Through recourse to performance analysis, I examine theatre’s capacity to shift the focal point of interest towards the borders of mainstream society. My claim is that this perspective allows room for presences that have been historically rendered mute and also helps to draw attention to modes of social and political organisation that differ from those naturalised by national elites.
AuthorsNicholson Sanz, Michelle
- Theses