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Wigbertson Julian Isenia

The Question of Dutch Politics
as a Matter of Theatre

Theatre and Performance after the 2008 Financial Crisis

ISBN 978-3-8288-4052-2
102 Seiten, Paperback
Tectum Verlag 2017
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Starting from the notion of ‘post-democracy’ elaborated by Colin Crouch, which indicates an increasing tendency towards the deterioration of democratic principles and the narrowing of the public sphere, this book explores how, in the Dutch context, this process is influenced by theatre and performance practice, art policy and governmental action. It points out that, within discourses of post-democracy, aspects of depoliticisation are commonly assessed through theatrical concepts such as spectacle, play, game and theatre. At the same time, this work argues by an analysis of three performances, ‘Wijksafari Utrecht’ by Adelheid Roosen, a political protest by Quinsy Gario, and ‘Labyrinth’ by the refugee group ‘We are Here Cooperative’, that there might be a role for theatre in this age of depoliticisation. It proposes to scrutinise, based on the writings of Samuel Weber, a paradox of theatre. Namely, while concepts of theatre are applied to convey disapproval of government and politics, theatre has a possible emancipatory character to dispute the given order.

Wigbertson Julian Isenia has an MA degree in Arts and Culture (University of Amsterdam), as well as bachelor degrees in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Theatre Studies. He received a scholarship from the Bekker-la Bastide fund to pursue his graduate studies. He is currently conducting his PhD research on Gendered and Sexual Citizenship in the Dutch Caribbean islands of Curaçao and Bonaire in the framework of a Dutch Research Council funded project.