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Theatre for peacebuilding: transforming narratives of structural violence

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nilanjana PremaratnaORCiD


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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article focuses on two under-explored domains in peacebuilding: structural violence and art. Structural violence, despite its pervasiveness and positive correlation with violent conflict, is often overlooked within key debates in peacebuilding. Arts, despite its prevalence at ground level, continue to remain outside the mainstream approaches to peacebuilding. In this article, I bring these two domains together and explore the potential of sustained engagement through theatre in building peace within violent structural narratives at community level. Based on an empirical study in West Bengal, India, I argue that theatre has the potential to bring prevalent but less-heard narratives of structural violence into communal discourse. I identify two key elements in this process: first, theatre offers a space where onstage resistance to structural violence is performed. Second, the performed resistance leads to triggering transformation within the violent structural narratives.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Premaratna N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Peacebuilding

Year: 2020

Volume: 8

Issue: 1

Pages: 16-31

Online publication date: 17/07/2018

Acceptance date: 05/06/2018

ISSN (print): 2164-7259

ISSN (electronic): 2164-7267

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd


DOI: 10.1080/21647259.2018.1491278


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