IMAGE THEATRE - DYNAMISM
1. The leader arranges people in a way that would reflect the already existing image (an image of a women with a broom is great for it). The meaning of the scene should not be explained, neither the context nor characters. The depiction should be symbolic (polysemic) in order to make the identification of participants easy and to induce personal connotations and identifications. The recommended image was used in many countries, interpreted by the participants not only as an antagonism rich-poor, man –woman, but also North – South.
2. Dynamism of image in 6 steps. At each point, the linked film specifically illustrates respective stages.
2.1 OUTBREAK Participants are asked to indicate, which part of the picture is the most obnoxious, hideous, outrageous for them.
The participants respectively come on stage and/or ask actors to change one gesture.
It would possibly become apparent, that we are moved by different things.
2.2 IDEAL Participants consecutively propose an ideal image, perfect order ( there are no victims, no offenders). The group tries to reach a consensus. Discussion. This stage shows that we are a consolidated group, which dreams of changing the reality for better, it wants and it can repair the world.
2.3 REALITY The host asks actors to move from the first image (oppression) to the ideal one in slow motion. Questions to the group:
Is it possible? Real?
The presented change is magical, desirable. In reality it is hard to imagine that the executioner would stop harming us by own free wish, and the witnesses or sidekicks would take the side of a victim. Why would they do it? How many victims wait to be saved by the executioner…
2.4 CONVENTION The leader asks the actors to transform the image however the characters want to. The victim tries to get free, the suppressor denies, punishes, tightens the custody. Escalation of violence occurs. Eventually, the victim becomes a suppressor. The host encourages the group to comment on what is going on and to reach some conclusions.
This stage shows the consequences of violence. If we don’t stop it, it would have tragic consequences. We can’t be satisfied by pipe dreams and waiting for the problem to solve itself. We have to look for real solutions.
2.5 RELEASE The leader asks everyone to propose a change (orally and/or arranging the actors, he can also substitute one of them). The group discusses whether such solution is real and effective. The leader asks the participants: “do you want to do what they offer you to do?” “how would you benefit from that?”. The actors test alternative scenarios, the stage becomes a laboratory for changes.
2.6 CONTEXT The leader encourages participants to reflect on whether there is someone who can change the order of action apart from the actors that were introduced. In other words, the scene is inscribed in a broader, social context. The victim can ask someone for help, a friend, police, psychologist, NGO… Someone from the audience may approach the stage and impersonate the missing person/institution. The name of it can be written on the piece of paper.
It is hard to imagine the executioner to help the victim. The only person wanting a change is the victim. The victim can and must initiate the change. It doesn’t matter if the executioner is a specific person, a system or an imaginary creature (we are the suppressor), the initiative and rescue are on victims’ behalf. That’s the moral dimension of forum theatre.