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Activism is the intervention of an individual or group, using varied tactics, to disrupt and challenge inequality, and create transformation in the social, political, cultural or economic realm.


00:13:41
Among the Living: Memories of Lisa Mayo
Video
Lisa Mayo of the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations was a founding member of the Native American women’s feminist theatre group, Spiderwoman Theater. She was a singer, actor, and playwright who wrote and performed with Spiderwoman Theater for 35 years.
00:32:47
Kwame Kwei-Armah
Video
Kwei-Armah discusses the impact of August Wilson’s work, including Gem of the Ocean, and attitudes towards African-American and Afro-Caribbean drama.
00:08:23
Conquest and Prison
Video
Conquest and Prison is a two-part suite of site-specific dance films set in Grahamstown, South Africa. The two oldest historical sites in Grahamstown are Ft. Selwyn and the Old Gaol, which imprisoned thousands of black South Africans. The choreography of Part I "Oscar's Journey" is Oscar Buthelezi's personal response to the history of colonialism commemorated at Ft. Selwyn. Part II "Child's Play" is similar to the approach in "Oscar's Journey." "Chorographers Lorin Sookool and Julia Wilson reflect on the past as the sounds and images of the gaol continue to echo and resonate today.
00:50:11
Drawing on a Mother’s Experience  IMAGE
Video
A work that built on Baker’s experience of using autobiographical materials in performances such as My Cooking Competes, blending this with a commentary on domesticity, motherhood and art.
00:01:52
GGP Ethno-Techno - Trimming Ones Identity - Asset Thumbail Image
Video
This 1994 clip documents performance activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s work with his organisation, the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.
00:01:49
GGP1 Thumb
Video
This clip represents, in the artist’s own words, ‘a performative investigation in artificial identity, representation, doppelgangers, drag and the fluid borders of authorship and collaboration’.
00:31:56
Essay on Dr. Barbara Ann Teer interview conducted by Kathy A. Perkins
Video
Since 1981, I have been conducting research on black women behind the scenes in the American theatre. As a black female lighting designer, I am aware of our invisibility within the larger American theatre and have made an effort to expose these women to a wider audience. I have interviewed numerous black women who have made significant contributions to American theatre. These women include designers, producers, directors, playwrights, artistic directors, and other individuals working behind the scenes. Dr. Teer (1937-2008) was a professional actress, director, producer, and visionary. Born in the predominantly black city of East St. Louis, Illinois, Teer was surrounded by a family of community activists, entrepreneurs, artists, and educators. Her family and community environment shaped her future in the arts. Considered a genius, she graduated from the University of Illinois at the age of 19. Having had a professional career both in dance and acting on Broadway, off-Broadway, film, and television, she became disillusioned with the roles available for black women. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Teer founded the National Black Theatre (NBT) in 1968, making it the first revenue-generating black theatre complex in the U.S. She believed it vital that NBT be situated in Harlem, where it would serve and empower the black community. Dr. Teer began to develop her own acting methods, breaking from traditional western styles. She called her theatre a temple and her actors liberators. She broke the fourth wall to include the audience. She created NBT as a cultural institution – a place where one could be educated and entertained simultaneously. She travelled to Africa and brought back many aspects of the culture to incorporate into her productions. Dr. Teer was indeed a pioneer. In 2016, NBT celebrated 48 years as an institution.
00:19:04
Glenda Dickerson
Video
Since 1981, I have been conducting research on black women behind the scenes in the American theatre. As a black female lighting designer, I am aware of our invisibility within the larger American theatre and have made an effort to expose these women to a wider audience. I have interviewed numerous black women who have made significant contributions to the American theatre. These women include designers, producers, directors, playwrights, artistic directors, and other individuals working behind the scenes. This is a rare interview I conducted with Glenda Dickerson (1945-2012) during a rehearsal of her adaptation of The Trojan Women, performed with an all-black cast during January 1983. This interview is very dear to me as Dickerson was a mentor. I followed her career with various interviews, tapings at conferences, and the publication of one of her plays. Glenda Dickerson was a director, folklorist, actress, adapter/conceiver, and educator. With a career of nearly 40 years she was known for her unique adaptations of Greek classics, African American folktales, the feminist theatre approach, and ensemble work. She was the second black woman to direct on Broadway with the 1980 musical Reggae. Her work has also been presented nationally and internationally. In the commercial arena she was constantly presented with racial and gender challenges. After working in mainstream theatre for many years, Dickerson chose to focus her talents on educational and community-oriented theatre. She also began to concentrate on feminist/womanist theatre. She taught at Howard University, Spelman, Rutgers, and the University of Michigan. Only in recent years is her work finally gaining recognition, but as with many other black women, Dickerson’s contributions are largely unknown.
00:02:13
GGP Ethno-Techno - White on White - Asset Thumbnail Image
Video
This 1994 clip documents performance activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s work with his organisation, the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.
00:43:32
Lisa Mayo: Between the Layers
Video
Lisa Mayo: Between the Layers is an interview reflecting on the training, accomplishments, experiences, and the life of Lisa Mayo.
00:54:00
Pangaean Dreams
Video
Pangaean Dreams is a multimedia piece which leads the audience on a shamanic journey back 250 million years to the time when the earth’s continents were all fused into one.
00:01:07
GGP Ethno-Techno - Censurado - Asset Thumbnail Image
Video
This 1994 clip documents performance activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s work with his organisation, the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.
00:00:47
GGP Ethno-Techno - Ethnic Profiling - Asset Thumbnail Image
Video
This 1994 clip documents performance activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s work with his organisation, the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.
00:01:53
GGP Ethno-Techno - Sing-along Geography Lesson - Asset Thumbnail Image
Video
This 1994 clip documents performance activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s work with his organisation, the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.
00:00:57
GGP Ethno-Techno - El Designer Warrior - Asset Thumbail Image
Video
This 1994 clip documents performance activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s work with his organisation, the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.
00:00:56
GGP Ethno-Techno - El Hombre Cucaracha - Asset Thumbnail Image
Video
This 1994 clip documents performance activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s work with his organisation, the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.
00:05:04
GGP Ethno-Techno - Chicano Virtual Reality - Asset Thumbnail Image
Video
This 1994 clip documents performance activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s work with his organisation, the international performance troupe La Pocha Nostra.
00:00:04
la_pocha_13
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:04
la_pocha_12
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:04
la_pocha_11
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:02
la_pocha_10
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:05
la_pocha_9
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:01
la_pocha_8
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:02
la_pocha_7
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:04
la_pocha_1
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:02
la_pocha_6
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:02
la_pocha_2
Audio
‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:03
la_pocha_3
Audio
‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:00
la_pocha_4
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‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
00:00:03
la_pocha_5
Audio
‘Each recorded text reveals a paradigm shift and an emotional faultline in my biographical journey to the North and my scary journey to the heart of the US Art World. This is one such audio text.’
Practitioner
Ewa Benesz worked at Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre from 1966–8, joining the company again in the eighties. She has engaged in a wide range of performance experiments focussing on theatre’s roots.
Practitioner
Guillermo Gómez-Peña is an artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. His work has contributed to debates on diversity and border culture.


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Practitioner
Guillermo Gómez-Peña is an artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. His work has contributed to debates on diversity and border culture.
Category
Throughout the 20th century, feminist performance has interrogated the ways women’s conventional representation is often derogatory, or exploitative, reproducing scenes of female disempowerment.