In This Chapter


Between market pressure and “critical generosity”

Authored by: Aleksandar Bančić , Ezequiel Basualdo , Amarílis Felizes

The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138291027
eBook ISBN: 9781315265704
Adobe ISBN:


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In some parts of the world, Theatre of the Oppressed gatherings and festivals became one of the main modes of diffusion of this method and of contact between different practitioners. TO gatherings can be spaces of exchange, of building solidarity and of “critical generosity” between groups, but they can also be spaces of competition and commodification of TO, depending on the selling of workshops, on the logic of pleasing the “client,” on the pressure for certain “twists” or “brands” of TO that distinguish one practitioner from others, or on the needs imposed by funders. 1 In this conversation, we invite three people involved in the organization of different gatherings that tried to rise above some of these difficulties and perversions: Pula Forum (an annual gathering that took place in Pula, Croatia, between 2008 and 2016), Encuentro Latinamericano de Teatro del Oprimido (which has been happening every other year since 2010, held first in Argentina and then in 2012 in Guatemala, 2014 in Bolivia, 2016 in Nicaragua, and 2018 in Uruguay) and Óprima! (a gathering that was born in Portugal in 2012 and has been happening each year since then in various Portuguese cities and, in 2018, in Madrid). The challenge was to critically reflect about these spaces and about the practices of the networks that originate and organize them. 2

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