The Theatre of the Oppressed, established in the early 1970s by Augusto Boal, is a participatory theater that fosters democratic and cooperative forms of interaction among participants. Theater is emphasized not as a spectacle but rather as a language accessible to all. More specifically, it is a rehearsal theater designed for people who want to learn ways of fighting back against oppression in their daily lives. According to Boal, “Image Theatre can help bring people together, in a common space, to creatively, non-verbally, and dialogically express and develop their perceptions of their world, power structures, and oppression”.
Image theater it is used to explore internal or external oppression, unconscious thoughts and feelings related to the focus problem analysed by participants through a problem tree. Image theater works across language and culture barriers and frequently reveal unexpected universality. Through image theater participants go deeper into the analysis process.
In Image Theater, still images are used to explore abstract concepts such as relationships and emotions, as well as realistic situations. This technique was developed by Augusto Boal as part of Theater of the Oppressed. Participants in small groups create physical images concerning a conflict situation as analyzed in their problem tree. They are then invited to step into the center of the audience and remake their image. Participants rapidly sculpt their own or each others’ bodies to express attitudes and emotions. In Image, participants explore issues of oppression by using nonverbal expression and sculpting their own and other participants’ bodies into static physical images that can depict anything concrete or abstract, such as a feeling, issue, or moment. Spectators are asked to observe these images and reflect on what they witness.
More information about the project you can find on the following link: