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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2010

D. Soyini Madison
Affiliation:
Northwestern University, Illinois
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Summary

You can study everything as performance, but it doesn't mean everything is performance.

Richard Schechner

The aim is not to claim all human behavior as performance but to illuminate what new insights can be gained from a performance analytic.

Della Pollock

Meaning is always in-between structures, at the interstices of systems, institutions, State and law.

Dwight Conquergood

The focus of this book is to address the relationship between performance and local activism in the service of human rights and social justice. The purpose is to present the often neglected yet compelling and important story of local activism in Africa, specifically Ghana, West Africa, and how particular individuals who take up the charge of activists are making notable and lasting contributions for equity and rights in their home country. The philosophical expressions of these men and women, their body-to-body activities on the ground, and how performance becomes integral to their work are presented in three case studies or three acts of activism.

Since 1998, I have witnessed courageous interventions by men and women who have faced great risks in the defense of human rights and social justice. I have also witnessed how they employ performance as a means of communication and as a subversive tactic to win hearts and minds in their efforts toward a more humane and democratic society. I have, in turn, adapted these interventions and tactical performances for the stage, in the United States and Ghana, while also staging the implications of my own positionality – my own split identity and gendered body – as an African American and as a woman living and teaching in Ghana.

Type
Chapter
Information
Acts of Activism
Human Rights as Radical Performance
, pp. 1 - 33
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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  • Introduction
  • D. Soyini Madison, Northwestern University, Illinois
  • Book: Acts of Activism
  • Online publication: 04 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511675973.001
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • D. Soyini Madison, Northwestern University, Illinois
  • Book: Acts of Activism
  • Online publication: 04 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511675973.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • D. Soyini Madison, Northwestern University, Illinois
  • Book: Acts of Activism
  • Online publication: 04 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511675973.001
Available formats
×