Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Humanistic Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Students
Primary Theme: The Political
Secondary Theme: Identity and Equity
This panel examines the intersections of identity, representation, and performance to interrogate people’s creative acts of resistance and resilience in response to changing socio-political climates. As diverse global forces restructure people’s lives and livelihoods, it becomes imperative to better comprehend how individuals (re)construct their self-image as they navigate spaces of belonging and exclusion. Alienation from state processes and discord within local communities compel people to find new ways to voice their needs and rights. Performance serves as a captivating means for individuals to communicate their identities to make sense of their social worlds. While the narration of memory and lived experience may allow people to navigate uncertainty and challenge relations of power, performances may also be used to reproduce neocolonial and hegemonic discourses. An examination of the uses and abuses of performance can elucidate the intricacies of how people craft transnational connections, assert difference, animate citizenship, and dramatize daily life. Interrogating the inspirations and sponsorships for such performances can also contribute insight into systems of oppression and opportunity. This panel seeks to critically examine how artists, activists, and citizens broadly, engage in everyday politics through performative interventions in public spaces. This panel asks: How do individuals mitigate social and political anxieties through performative acts? How do people use performance to imaginatively construct new futures? How are various discourses amplified and silenced through performance? How are landscapes reconfigured through the appropriation of space in public performances? How do the politics of reception influence how people perform for diverse crowds?