Unity for Liberation

An exploration bringing concepts of oppression and liberation into the body through improvisations surrounding concepts from Paulo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The five collaborators, Alessandra Christmas (dramaturg), Emily Craver (dancer), Davianna Green (dancer), Laura Neese (dancer) and I worked in embodied and verbal dialogue to represent systems of oppression and ways of liberation.

This was to be performed in Spring 2020 but was canceled due to Covid.

Our rehearsals focused on embodying concepts from Paulo Friere’s book, namely Conquest, Divide and Rule, Manipulation, and Invasion (ways groups of people elicit power) and Unity for Liberation, Organization, Cooperation, and Cultural Synthesis (ways people can come together to liberate themselves from their oppressors). Paulo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed details the education of oppressive societies to fight against their oppression. Although the stakes are much greater in Friere’s book, we were on a quest to see how these concepts sat in the body and emerged in a group of movers. Merging making methods from improvisation and Adrienne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategies, we explored the complicated definitions of control, specifically surrounding societal conduct and power structures affecting women.