Adrian-Octavian Dohotaru: Performative Anthropology. The Case of Pata Rât Ghetto in a Neoliberal Context
Thursday, 16 october 2014, 19.00
LECTURE @ Pavilion

The lecture focuses on a technique called Performative Anthropology, which is in fact a subdivision and a form of expressing engaged anthropology that involves citizen activism, participatory action research (PAR) and street performance. This technique is used by academics, inhabitants of Pata Rât and activists of the Working Group of Civil Society Organizations (gLOC). gLOC is an informal group that tries to raise awareness on the social and economic processes that led to the ghettoization of Pata-Rât inhabitants, from the vicinity of Cluj’s waste dump, and that aims to support the empowering of its inhabitants to request their rights and citizenship. The technique emerged from street protests, following the forced evictions of almost 300 inhabitants of Coastei Street on the 17th of December 2010.

Performative anthropology approaches countercultural methods of the 1960s, Boal’s theatrical notion of spect-actor (Theater of the Oppressed), the situationist concepts of detournement and derive and the avant-garde practice of Arte Povera. This mixture of methods is used in order to create experiences of contradiction (intensified by artistic endeavours) that reveal deeply embedded social inequities of a neoliberal age. As compared to academic linear discourses, it stipulates more concisely and strikingly social and political agendas, and furthers participatory research, artistic and civic projects.

Details about the technique of performative anthropology can be found here:

Adrian-Octavian Dohotaru is an activist and researcher currently working for Ratiu Democracy Center.

September 7, 2014 | Filed under event_archive.

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