The project Playing with Fire funded by a Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)/ Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Urgency Grant (2020/22) is situated at the interface between theatre-based artistic practice and social science research. It proposes to use Forum Theatre (FT) to conduct research and generate community-based responses to multi-layered conflicts (cultural, political, distributive, environmental) in communities most affected by recent wildfires in Bolivia. It aims to advance local and international public debate on the complexity and urgency of wildfire emergency through the creation of research-derived artistic work (community theatre, experimental participatory photography and collaborative documentary film making), which will themselves be vehicles for both social change and data collection simultaneously rather than sequentially. As such, it aims to advance methodological innovation at the interface of the creative arts and the social and natural sciences. The research will draw on a popular community theatre methodology called Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) (Boal 1974) to create a FT play with members of different local groups; we will then perform this work in four rural locations in the Chiquitania region of Bolivia. The project is implemented in collaboration with Ciudadania Bolivia.
Project website: playingwithwildfire.org
Photo credits: Max Hirzel