Acts of Activism: Human Rights as Radical Performance by D. Soyini Madison

By D. Soyini Madison

Madison provides the overlooked but compelling and worthy tale of neighborhood activists in South Saharan Africa who hire modes of functionality as strategies of resistance and intervention of their daily struggles for human rights. The dynamic courting among functionality and activism are illustrated in 3 case experiences: Act One provides a conflict among culture and modernity because the our bodies of African girls are stuck within the cross-fire. Act makes a speciality of 'water democracy' as activists struggle for secure, available public water as a human correct. Act 3 examines the efficacy of highway functionality and theatre for improvement within the oral histories of Ghanaian gender activists. detailed to this e-book is the ongoing juxtaposition among the typical performances of neighborhood activism and their staged enactments prior to theatre audiences in Ghana and the united states. Madison superbly demonstrates how those disparate websites of functionality cohere within the carrier of rights, justice, and activism.

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Said another more defiantly. Then one of the young strikers, whom I had met months earlier through his brother – a friend whom I worked with on a water democracy project – interrupted the questions and simply said to the others, “Okay, let’s go. ” “No more classes after today,” I repeated. The young men left with as much bravado as they entered. At the end of class, I was walking toward the main road on my way to town. As I approached the gate, I suddenly noticed a sea of students in red marching down the road.

Di Leonardo, Exotics At Home, p. 7. 59. Visweswaran, Fictions of Feminist Ethnography, p. 33. 60. Conquergood, “Rethinking Ethnography: Towards a Critical Cultural Politics,” p. 354. 61. Ibid. 62. Denzin, Performance Ethnography, p. 87. act i Is it a human being or a girl? In Act I we will enter a local debate relative to modernity and tradition and how the bodies of women become the center point of this local conflict, invoking volatile claims about culture, religion, and human rights. We will examine how modes of performance, in the field and on a public stage in Ghana, re-vision the debate and generate alternative claims, questions, and practices.

Oliver, Witnessing, p. 14. Turner, From Ritual to Theatre, pp. 48–49. M. Csikszentmihalyi, quoted in Turner, pp. 48–49. Turner, From Ritual to Theatre, p. 47. The top layer of the cerebral cortex that forms the part of the human brain that is responsible for higher and more complex brain functions. Referring to “our mental architecture” John Emigh states: “Performances serve to project the mind’s sketching and paradigm-making abilities out beyond the confines of the individual being, where other minds can assess the persuasiveness and power of our fleeting, embodied visions – affirming and denying, remembering and forgetting, assimilating them into old categories, forging new ones, blending fantasy and reality in fragile images made of our very biological selves, shifting storage areas, strengthening weak synaptic connections and making new ones, redirecting neurons used to store information that has fallen into disuse, and maybe, if we are very, very lucky, using this process as a way to live better, or at least to enjoy the passage of our time here more fully” (in “Performance Studies, Neuroscience, and the Limits of Culture”).

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