9 May 2009

Augusto Boal Remembered

One of the greatest innovators in World Theatre of the twentieth century, Augusto Boal, who travelled the four corners of the earth scattering the seed of the Theatre of the Oppressed, died last Saturday at the age of 78.

Oppression, according to Augusto Boal, is when one person is dominated by the monologue of another and has no chance to reply. Boal's life was devoted to giving those who are in this one-down position, the tools with which to express themselves and discover a way out of their powerlessness. He does this through the medium of theater. A native of Brazil who has been jailed himself for his political activities, Boal is the founder of a movement known as Theatre of the Oppressed.

On 3 May, a farewell ceremony was held at his home in Brasil. His cremation marked the start of a new phase of the Theatre of the Oppressed, in the physical absence of Boal. His wife, Cecilia Boal, with all her strength and vitality, told the world that her husband should be remembered as the warrior that he always was.

Today, Saturday 9 May, from 5pm to 8pm (Brazilian time), there will be a homage, at the Centre of the Theatre of the Oppressed with music, poems, performances and videos. At 7pm we stop to make a minute of ovation to Boal´s honor. We will celebrate the life, the struggle, the productivity, the work of Augusto Boal and the continuity of that work.

It will not be easy to follow this Master in the Struggle. But what has ever been easy in the trajectory of the Theatre of the Oppressed? Ethics and Solidarity will be the foundations and guides. Multiplication will be the strategy. And the goal will remain the mounting of concrete social actions to bring about the transformation of oppressive realities. You can watch an interview with Boal on Democracy Now here!

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