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Narratives of Success, Narratives of Failure: the creation and collapse of Sistren's 'aesthetic space'

Smith, Karina (2008) Narratives of Success, Narratives of Failure: the creation and collapse of Sistren's 'aesthetic space'. Modern Drama, 51 (2). pp. 234-258. ISSN 0026-7694

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This essay looks at the way Jamaican Sistren Theatre Collective’s work and public image were shaped during the 1970s and 1980s to meet the needs of political and development agency agendas. During the Democratic Socialist Manley government’s eight years in office (1972–80), community groups such as Sistren were encouraged by the government to establish ‘‘aesthetic spaces,’’ to quote Augusto Boal, in which the oppression experienced by disadvantaged Jamaicans could be discussed and theatricalized. With the change of government in 1980, support for community-development projects waned and pressure was placed on Sistren to find external avenues of funding, invariably from development agencies. Under the weight of development-agency demands, among them the establishing of a business enterprise to achieve ‘‘self-sufficiency,’’ Sistren’s ‘‘aesthetic space’’ collapsed. Sistren Theatre Collective, then, can be read as both a narrative of success and one of failure.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID15293, Sistren Theatre Collective, "aesthetic space", Democratic Socialism, "cultural agents", development agencies
Subjects: Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Current > FOR Classification > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Historical > SEO Classification > 9501 Arts and Leisure
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Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2011 22:58
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2011 22:58
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Citations in Scopus: 3 - View on Scopus

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