Mapping realities: representing war through affective place making

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Title Mapping realities: representing war through affective place making
Author Balfour, Michael St Clair
Journal Name New Theatre Quarterly
Year Published 2012
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Abstract One of the most unusual statistics in the study of performance and war is that aesthetic activity often increases in times of conflict. In this article Michael Balfour extends the consideration of performance and war to aesthetic projects that were located far removed from the centres of conflict, but that deeply connected with the affective impact of war. As an illustration of performative practice, the examples demonstrate the ways in which place making can play with documenting and representing war experiences in different ways. The two examples – This is Camp X-Ray in Manchester (a temporary installation) and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC – were designed in separate contexts for very different purposes; but contribute to understanding the kinds of choices that artists make in representing the affective ‘truths’ of war experience. In both cases, the artists were interested in creating spaces that would make the wars more visible for an audience, and provide a tangible place in which experiences of war could be re-conceived and an affective connection made. Michael Balfour is Professor of Applied Theatre, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. His research expertise is in the social applications of theatre, in particular theatre and war, prison theatre, and arts and health. Major Australian Research Council-funded projects include The Difficult Return, on approaches to artsbased work with returning military personnel, and Captive Audiences, on the impact of performing arts programmes in prisons. His books include Theatre and War 1933–1945 and, most recently, Performance in Place of War, co-authored with James Thompson and Jenny Hughes (Seagull Press, 2010).
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266464X12000036
Copyright Statement Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 28
Issue Number 1
Page from 30
Page to 40
ISSN 0266-464X
Date Accessioned 2012-10-19
Date Available 2013-06-17T03:10:08Z
Language en_US
Research Centre Griffith Centre for Cultural Research; Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/47842
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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