Theater of the Oppressed and the Politics of Memory

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What memories do our bodies hold? To what extent are my memories related to those of others? How can we bring forth these memories to better understand the realities that we live? Making use of Theater of the Oppressed (TO) methods, we undertake an aesthetic investigation of oppression: exploring individual memories and discovering the connection to collective memories as a necessary step toward understanding the structural nature of oppression. We will share our recent experiences along the Guatemala-Mexico border with the "migrant caravan" and how an aesthetic exploration reveals a historical relationship to the terriroty and the fear that it imposes on migration.

Lorena Roffé and Stéphane Gué reside in Guatemala, where they are founding artivists of METOCA, which means "It's my turn (to act)" and "(reality) touches me." Over the last ten years, they have used aesthetic processes with political impact to work with community groups (women with HIV, indigenous youth, and migrants) and supported those groups in becoming the protagonists of their own realities. They have trained in TO methodologies in Brazil, India, USA and Germany with the field's leading practitioners and have organized two Latin American TO gatherings.

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