Living Words and Moving Images
Human beings view of the world is reflected and generated in the images and stories they ( we) tell. Whether we call it story, religion or science or myth, it is what makes us and tells us who we are. Theatre has since as stories told around the fire has been a way to collectively interact with our myth, the images and stories that make us and that we make. Theatre is a social awareness technology, maybe the first one.
In this module, you are invited to co-create images and stories that reflect on the “worldview” and “stories” we hold. The invitation is to do so by creating an audio-visual essay that you can then share on Sutra or/and on social media to get feedback in. The digital essay is a practice-based exploration of the 12 techniques of Newspaper Theatre and the practices we explore and research in the course.
Through the essay, you reflect one or more of the following questions (or other questions that inspire you)
How are the news stories and images we read/see affect our everyday lives?
How do Images and Stories shape the cultures we live in?
What is Newspaper Theatre in the 21st Century?
If you wish to Create the essay together with others, you can connect with others via Sutra or email to set up the time to meet. Learning between session and co-creative Action Learning is a big part of the experience and I really recommend to take the time and energy to do that.
Here are a few text quotes to inspire your essay:
“Language is power. It identifies the person who you are. When a person is gone, they are guided by that songspiral, where they come from.”
“We don’t use the land, not in that way; we sing the land so that new trees grow, new plants come, animals flourish.”
“It brings us back to the moment. It is the present, the past and the future. If we are singing about the rain coming down to the land, we become part of that water that drops to the soil, that sinks into the soil. We see the particles of the soil; those tiny pieces become huge rocks. We see them; we see them as we go down, inside the soil and then deep in, we see the roots of the trees as we pass through. We fall in between, we seep into the soil, down past the roots, past worms in the soil, the creatures and bugs, we travel down to the underground water and travel with the flood, out to the river, into the currents, down to the sea.”
(from “Songspirals: Sharing women’s wisdom of Country through songlines (English Edition)” by Gay’wu Group of Women)
“The role of the Joker, as conceived by Boal and Diamond, reflects the recent discovery in science that living systems respond to disturbances in their own self-organizing ways. One can never direct a living system; one can only disturb it.”
“In a human community, the event triggering the process of emergence may be an offhand comment that does not seem important to the person who made it but is meaningful to some members of the community. Because it is meaningful to them, they choose to be disturbed and to amplify the information.”
“We know now that, if we don’t express ourselves as individuals, if we keep our stories bottled up inside us, eventually we will get sick. The stress will manifest as disease. The human body is, after all, an integrated system. I suggest that, in the same way, our bodies are made up of cells that constitute the living organism, a community is made up of individual people that comprise the organism I call the living community.
(from “Theatre for Living: The Art and Science of Community-Based Dialogue (English Edition)” by David Diamond, Fritjof Capra)
Here are a few video essays that might inspire your work:
A video mix of youtube videos I created using a screen capture on zoom and shared on Instagram (you can also create use a free Loom account)
You can also create the video as an improvisation with friends here are a few improvisations created on Zoom during Unlock the News Jams Sessions you can watch by yourself or with friends on VoiceVoice.
Here is another quite interesting video clip which while am not sure if was created thinking about Newspaper Theatre is an interesting example of playing with news and themes creatively.
As you watch reflect what is it you like and what will you do differently? In what they are effective or not effective for the socio-political aims they were created for? What can be learnt from them?