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Bartering and Cross-Border Embodied Performances

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DOI

The chapter, ‘Bartering and cross-border embodied performances’, presents a set of cases with cultural barters as a non-conflicting exchange of performative goods without money across borders in the broadest sense of the word. The aim of the cultural barter is, besides the entertainment dimension, to give a community the sense of uniquely being different while interacting with others. The structure of the cultural barter is non-hierarchical, so there does not exist the only right way to barter. Historically, the notion of cultural barter is inherited from encounters between different cultures. As a performance, the very exchange can take place between all sorts of population groups, giving a surprising effect because of the unusual encounter. In the field of theatre, Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark, has practiced barters since 1974, beginning in Carpignano, Italy, as a way to get closer to the audiences in a community by keeping the sense of distancing, which characterizes actors performing a ‘dialogue’ with locals who are not professional actors. Paradoxically, the professional distancing builds the bridge to the audience, achieving a co-existence across the borders. Equally, this technique is applied as an aesthetic tool to theatre productions, like The trilogy of the innocent. The chapter also gives an example from during the first hundred days of lockdown, due to Covid-19, as experienced from Denmark, spring 2020. The conductor of the Danish National Girls’ Choir, Phillip Faber, made a cultural barter of singing together with the television watchers, across the screen. The aim was to bring joy to participants during the isolation, which had left many peoples with a feeling of vulnerability, loneliness and for some even with the loss of their beloved ones. The chapter analyses these cases as a particular material for dynamic historiography.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerforming Memory : Corporeality, Visuality, and Mobility after 1968
EditorsReinisch Dieter, Luisa Passerini
Place of publicationNew York
PublisherBerghahn Books
Publication yearJun 2023
Pages96-121
Chapter4
ISBN (print)978-1-80073-996-3
ISBN (electronic)978-1-80073-997-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
SeriesMaking Sense of History
Volume47

    Research areas

  • Philip Faber, Eugenio Barba, Al Madina Theatre Beirut, Dina Abu Hamdan

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