The Engaged Scholar Journal / Confronting Sexual Violence Through Dance and Theatre Pedagogy

By Dr. Doris Rajan, Roshanak Jaberi, Dr. Shahrzad Mojab

Abstract

The historically-shaped violence embedded in ongoing relations of colonization and imperialism for both refugee and Indigenous women across the globe are stories mostly told in reports and statistics. The performance-based art forms of theatre and dance can enhance knowledge sharing, build relationships and assist women in a deeper understanding of their realities. In pursuit of an effective use of these art forms; however, scripted stories need to ensure that women who experience oppression, formulate the storytelling. In addition, the enactment and representation should share women’s material histories in order to contextualize experiences in terms of specific relations to land, war, violence, displacement and dispossession. Using the two case studies of Doris Rajan’s play, A Tender Path and Roshanak Jaberi’s multidisciplinary dance project, No Woman’s Land, this article examines how community-engaged research and performance arts-based approaches can be used to challenge and provoke our ways of understanding and thinking about how to disrupt and alter oppressive relations.

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