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Street Theatre

Western European theatre originated from performances in public places by traveling troupes, or by guilds celebrating religious holidays or marking civic events. In the 20th Century again theatre took to the streets with the mass pageants in Russia that celebrated the Communist revolution or the "guerilla" groups who presented politicized agitprop for picket lines, and later there were the "happenings" and public rituals of American avant-garde, feminists and performance-artists. It is here that the issues of social performativity can be analyzed: this developing archive of images/video offers a start in the process.

This archive focuses on the cusp between performance and actuality. Thus the famous "Jarrow Hunger March" across England in the Great Depression was certainly a public display designed to make a political statement, yet contained no elements of pretence, costuming or structured artifice. By contrast there are festivals showcasing professional mimes or circus acts, which are solely performative. Events that mix the qualities of these are the Caribana and Gay Pride Parades in Toronto, or the way some WTO protests have developed. These are the areas on which data is beginning to be collected.

Sunflowers Costume

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Icons Icons

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Audience Interaction Audience Interaction

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Political Contexts Political Contexts

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