Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenInstitut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft
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The Politics of Participation.


MA 01, BA 04
CuP 01, CuP 02, CuP 07, CuP 08, CuP 09

Participation became one of the crucial topics when reflecting upon the development of contemporary performance and visual art today. Through participatory turn, visual art is developing different theoretical and practical interests in proximity to theatre and performance. At the same time, participation goes hand in hand with the renewed interest for political and socially engaged art, where participation is immediately seen as a political activity with real social consequences. Art institutions in recent years have become places of sociality and community processes, laboratories of practicing co-existence. But the question is whether such participatory turn really does open up possibilities for emancipatory political articulations or whether it also goes hand in hand with vanishing processes and possibilities of contemporary life.
In the seminar we will examine this ambivalent relationship between participation and politics, as it was developed in the last decades. We will enlighten the differences and similarities between participation and community through the notion of event, which will also enable the access to the discussion about the theatrical aspect of participation. We will examine the changed role of the audience in the participatory events, which is tightly connected to the questionable link between participation, emancipation and collaboration. We will also discuss the notion of participation as a specific activity, which can be tightly linked to the production of sociality and aestheticizisation of democratic social experience.