Photos: Noelia Albuquerque
Muhammed Lamin Jadama
The Kuringa is the facilitator of Theatre of the Oppressed activities which are simultaneously artistic expression and political action. As an artist she facilitates aesthetic investigation to represent a problem which the group chooses to discuss with society. As an activist she seeks alternatives – together with the group – for building alliances capable of propelling the concrete action needed for the desired transformation.
The development of this Praxis requiresconnecting knowledge to sensitivity for critical analysis. The training in Kuringa Praxis will depend on practical experience and citizen action, requiring theoretical studies and consolidating itself in maturity as a human being. Only those who generously share their knowledge and experience can grasp Theatre of the Oppressed which is only learned through teaching, and is only taught through being open to learning. This is a Method in constant movement. Its practitioners must also be people in movement, in a constant state of learning, aware that knowledge is a life-long process and not a bureaucratic accumulation of information. Kuringa Praxis requires multi-disciplinary training and an intersectional attitude.
The Kuringa acts together with groups of oppressed men and women to overcome injustices which she also recognises. She is an artist who does not put herself at the centre of the play, knowing that the show must be the fruit of collective discovery. She is an artist who grounds her actions not in the personification of individual talents, but rather in the celebration of each person’s potential as part of the collective production. She is an artist whose art serves life. She is an activist who develops her work aiming for social organisation as part of the struggle to transform reality.
On the one hand, she needs to be aware of the Method’s ethical, political, aesthetic, pedagogical and philosophical foundations. She must be familiar with the collection of techniques that make up the Tree, which is composed of coherent and interdependent branches. On the other hand, she must be sensitive to identifying new demands imposed by reality, and have the capacity – together with group members – to reinvent what is already known and/or create alternative pathways to sufficiently address these demands.
Kuringa praxis is diverse and complex. It ranges from motivating participation, to the process of discovering individual and group potential for artistic production. From identifying and representing the conflict aesthetically, to debating how to generate viable strategies that will make it possible to transform the reality. Theatre of the Oppressed Ethics must be the reference point and the goal of this Praxis.
i SANTOS, Bárbara. Theatre of the Oppressed ROOTS & WINGS a theory of praxis. Los Angeles – USA, KURINGA in conjunction with UCLA Art & Global Health Center and UCLA Prison Education Program, 2019