Feminist aesthetics for political poetics: Teatro de las Oprimidas

The workshop “Feminist Aesthetics for Political Poetics – TEATRO DE LAS OPRIMIDAS” delves into the challenges and discoveries made during practical applications developed since 2010 with theater groups and artist-activists from Latin America, Europe and Africa. And theoretical formulation of a theatrical methodology dedicated to the portrayal of oppressions intertwined with the intersections of gender, race and class, all from a structural standpoint. Our objective is to reframe perceptions of oppression and the associated responsibility to initiate change, all while avoiding the pitfalls of individualizing the issue or assigning blame to the people who contend with it.

We work with a repertoire of original exercises, games, and techniques, employing feminist aesthetics from an anti-racist, decolonial, and community perspective, in a practical demonstration of the method’s applicability. Also working with the strategies for enacting a theatrical dialogue that is both horizontal and contextual to foster a collaborative atmosphere among audience members during Forum Theatre proposals, enabling collective interactions. In this dynamic, each individual, drawing from their unique social standing and position, collaborates with others to collectively craft and improvise alternatives to the problem being portrayed on stage. 

This workshop is open to all people interested in aesthetic tools which aim of a view to dismantling patriarchy.

Bárbara Santos @barbara.kuringa

Playwright, director, actress, kuringa, author, poet/melodist, screenwriter, filmmaker, researcher and feminist-anti-racist-decolonial activist, Bárbara Santos is the artistic director of the KURINGA theater space and the Madalena-Berlin group in Berlin, Germany; consultant to the Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed, editor of METAXIS magazine and artistic director of the groups Cor do Brasil, Madalena-Anastácia, and Cia Teatral CTO RIO, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and founder of the Ma-g-dalena International Network of Teatro de las Oprimidas, made up of theater groups from Latin America, Africa, and Europe. Her artistic journey includes diverse experiences in more than 40 countries.

Over the span of her career, Bárbara has researched and developed innovative artistic approaches that deal with the intersections between gender, race, and class from a contextual perspective, through feminist aesthetics, with a focus on creative sound and rhythmic paths. These artistic processes have been systematized in three books she has written, including Teatro de las Oprimidas – feminist aesthetics for political poetics, published in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. 

As a performer, she explores the aesthetic transition from the colonized body to the political body. 

Cinema has been her main area of activity as an actor, with a highlight being her performance as Filomena (Filó) in The Invisible Life (by Karim Aïnouz), winner of the Grand Prix at the Un Certain Regard showcase in Cannes 2019, which earned her a nomination for best supporting actress for the 2020 Brazilian Cinema Grand Prix. In 2023, she made her debut as a filmmaker and screenwriter with Ash Wednesday, a medium-length musical film with her music, selected for BERLINALE (Germany), Rio Film Festival (Brazil), War on Screen (France), Filmets Badalona (Spain), among others, throughout 2023.

Kuringa is a self-funded association that relies on the contributions from participants in our workshops. We want to emphasize that by paying for our workshops, participants are directly supporting the existence and continuity of political work through art that we carry out. The funds raised are allocated to maintaining our activities, which primarily aim to raise social awareness and promote change through artistic expressions committed to justice and social transformation. We deeply appreciate the support of all those who participate in our workshops and contribute to the strengthening of our work.