Ms Irene Fernandez Ramos
Palestinian theatre’s evolution has kept pace of the social and political changes in Palestine. After the Oslo Accords (1993-1995), the outbreak of the second Intifada (2000) and the consolidation of a closure regime on the Palestinian population, theatre enables an increasingly relevant open space for the negotiation of alternative narratives within Palestinian society. I am interested in understanding if –and how– the movement restrictions imposed over the Palestinian population, understood in physical, psychological and social terms, have had an impact and changed the embodied narratives of identity and the use of space in dramatic production.
In my opinion, Palestinian dramatic production has evolved towards an allegory of political ‘immobility’; a new theatre of disenchantment which assigns a central position both to individual experience and to community building. In this sense, initiatives devoted to community building may contribute to the deconstruction of hegemonic narratives imposed by the broader structures of power –both Palestinian and Israelis-. ‘Lived experience’ –collective and individual- has gained a central status on stage in order to de-legitimize collective discourses of identity.
Besides, I want to explore how an increasingly interconnected international dramatic panorama influences the techniques and languages employed to construct space on Palestinian theatre. I shall also question how these international encounters can also curtail the development of an autonomous Palestinian theatre due to the introduction of conditional foreign funding.
My research is located within the discipline of Cultural Studies and I will engage with a phenomenological and semiotic analysis of theatre events as text, discourse and happening. From an interdisciplinary approach, I will draw upon critical theory, cultural geography, performance and theatre studies, among others.
Fernández Ramos, Irene and Flade, Kristin (2014). "Engaging with Resistance - What Else?" Conversation within the project "The Aesthetics of Applied Theatre". Institute for Theatre Studies, Freie Universität Berlin.
- "Storytelling, Agency and Community-building through Playback Theatre in Palestine". Paper presented at the 2nd CCLPS Postgraduate Conference "From the Speech to the Act: Performativity on the Margins" (to be published). SOAS, University of London, June 2014.
- "All days here are the same: Everyday Life, Disruption and Resistance in Contemporary Palestinian Theatre". Paper presented at the PG Conference "Obligations in Contemporary Theatre & Performance Practices". University of Exeter, January 2014.
- "Economic Dependence and Resistant Narratives: Alternative Representations of Reality within Contemporary Palestinian Theatre". Paper presented at the International Postgraduate Conference "Rethinking Palestine". University of Vienna, December 2013.
- "A Glance on Contemporary Palestinian Theatre". Paper presented at the International Federation for Theatre Research Annual Conference "Re-routing Performance". Barcelona, July 2013.
- "Co-opting Resistance: the Economic Dependence in Contemporary Palestinian and Moroccan Theatres" (co-authored with Cleo Jay). Paper presented at the CCLPS Postgraduate Conference "Critical Methods Beyond Eurocentrism". SOAS, University of London, June 2013.
- "The individual-collective body and the representation of oppressed identities in Contemporary Palestinian Theatre!. Paper presented at the International Centre for Performance Studies Conference "Performance in/and the Public Sphere". Tangier, June 2013
- Participation in the "Freedom Bus" (March 2014). An initiative of ‘The Freedom Theatre’ from Jenin which uses interactive theatre and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances throughout occupied Palestine and beyond.
- Member of "‘Acción en Red Internacional" group for the study and support of Palestine (Madrid, Spain).
- Member of the Centre for Palestinian Studies (SOAS, University of London).
- Member of the AHRC-funded project "Imagining Jerusalem".
- Member of the Organizing Committee of the 2nd CCLPS Postgraduate Conference: "From the Speech to the Act: Performativity on the Margins" (June 2014).