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Dramaturgies of Exile

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

The Dramaturgies of Exile: Democracy, Justice and Resistance in Modern Exilic Representations.

The focus of this reasearch which began in 2017 is to illucidate and determine exilic representations in a time of acute danger and acute possibility. It encompasses a wide spectrum of theoretical frameworks and creates a dialogue between materialist philosophy (Hann, Hoerschelmann, Stenning) post-socialism and social anthropology (Phipps, Graeber), in parallel to ethico-politics (Manne, Butler, Stanley) and ethno-autobiography (Derrida, Cixous, ) through a decolonial lens (Phipps, Mbembe, Spivak, Santos). My research is practice-based and includes theatre, film, essayist novel, digital consultations and political action through broadcast media and citizens' assemblies.    

The shape of the research is under continual reframing to reflect our times of acute danger and acute possibilities. It seeks to address both the state of political urgency currently present in the Anglophone world and to create new epistemologies to confront cultural, political and institutional injustice. It positions Scotland as both topology and the imagined place of "home", creating citation and play between the optics of seeing, the sea, the language, the landscape and the materialities of Scottish history and its future. It seeks to create a space of resistance and textual safety and further seeks to

“Radicalise the space between exilic ontology and the discourses of the Other (Arendt, Levinas, Spivak) and the formal representations of goverrnance and policy making.
  • Engage in reconnecting dramaturgical textual practice (Aristotle, Hegel, Beckett, Ionesco) to phenomenological and post-deconstructive theories of time (Bakhtin, Koselleck, Mbembe, Said, Fanon) with a view to inaugurating readings of resistance. 

  • Identify mechanisms of knowledge production, epistemic priviledge, epistemic injustice and institutional bias and seek ways to address and remedy them. 

  • Interrogate the concept of citizenship as both ontology and materialism and seek innovations in its understanding, its applications and its future potential

  • Position Scotland as home in both its "colonised" and "imagined" spaces.

  • Create a place, a time and a language for exile as both a place of escape but, most importantly, a safe destination, in text, in politics and in new historical chronotopes.   ”

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Thinking Act's position in this research occupies the spaces of both researcher and artist in conjunction with formally chairing dialogue between stakeholders, exiles and politicians. Over the course of my research, we initiate, lead and participate in projects ranging from political consultations, theatre performances and film work to academic writing, activist anthropology and live broadcast. Guided by two distinguished scholars in my doctoral team, the aim is to create both a new theoretical capsule and a permanent space for the narrative of exile.

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