Power to the People? – Defining terms

21st March, 2011 - Posted by Gavin - Comments Off on Power to the People? – Defining terms


This week was a very packed week for the Power to the People? group. After an hilarious warm-up game of West Country Zip Zap Boing, led very enthusiartically by Alan (“No parkin’ in the paddock”), we moved on to beginning to define what we meant by “empowerment” and “oppression”

Members of the group try to pick out words that define empowerment

Words that defined empowerment were – equal, dignity, courage, achievement; words that did not define it were – nice, joyful, limited; words they would like to describe it were – living, equal, achievement, dramatic.

The group then stood at a certain place in the room depending on how much they agreed with certain statements about empowerment. The one that caused the most debate was “I want to be part of The Big Society”. Where do you think you would have stood?

We also started the conversation about how we define “oppression” and what makes someone “oppressed”. What is the difference between “oppressed” and “victim”? This is a conversation that we will keep having throughout the process but we started to agree that oppression was a social and structural process rather than just being about individuals. However the group also felt that it was important to not dismiss the actions of individuals as being a product of the structure they are in. Tricky stuff!

Beginning to form groups to work on devising Forum scenes

After that we decided we’d had way too much talking for a drama group and it was time to get back into our bodies! Just using images we allowed ourselves to make two smaller groups who will begin working together over the next few weeks to devise Forum Theatre scenes. For me this session really encapsulated what Forum Theatre is all about – a group working well together but not afraid of disagreement and debate and happy to ask more questions than look for an easy answer.

Finally we celebrated International Theatre of the Oppressed Day – March 16th would have been Augusto Boal’s 80th Birthday – with a round of applause and a drink at the pub!


Posted on: March 21, 2011

Filed under: News

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