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Going to the Theatre and Feeling Agonistic: Exploring Modes of Remembrance in Spanish Audiences

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Memory culture in Spain since the 2000s has focused on the memory of victims, drawing an impermeable line between them and the perpetrators who have been considered evil others. However, at the same time, perpetrators’ testimonies have also gained visibility in the media, giving complexity to the way Spaniards think about the past. Within this context, Donde el bosque se espesa (2017), a theatre performance created by the Spanish company Micomicón, gives the floor to a perpetrator. Although perpetrators’ discourses normally have an unsettling effect on audiences worldwide, these audience responses can, potentially, contribute to a deepening of democratic values. In interviewing Spanish spectators, I analyse their emotions regarding real and fictional perpetrators. I work with a methodology focused on how an audience’s perception can be affected through the theatrical aesthetic experience, and, the other way around, how the aesthetic and political message intended by Micomicón is reshaped by each spectator. The methodology proposed explores possible agonistic effects in Spanish theatre audiences, and, in so doing, advocates a remembrance culture that includes the voices of victims, perpetrators and bystanders in an attempt to re-politicise the past in order to delve into our democratic values.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHispanic Research Journal
Pages (from-to)159-174
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • agonistic memory; theatre audiences; emotions; transformation; Spanish remembrance

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