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Cities, Spaces and National Identities

A significant portion of our research is orientated towards the analysis of cities and/or landscapes and their impact on national performance cultures. As a body of work, we are attempting to use performance analysis methods appropriate to cityscapes as a way of foregrounding the construction of cities not just in terms of materiality but also in terms of the symbolic, interactional, and imaginative ‘building’ processes of theatre and performance. Thus Nicolas Whybrow explores how artworks present themselves as a means by which to navigate and plot the city through walking, play, and cultural memory in relation to key European cities such as Berlin, Vienna and Venice.

Susan Haedicke's long-term research on contemporary street arts and public performance interventions is key to this research strand, as is Michael Pigott's investigation of the use of video projection in urban spaces as a playful and subversive intervention into architecture and our everyday relationship with the city.

Silvija Jestrovic's research looks at conceptual approaches to space, identity and community in different contexts of crises in relation to Belgrade, Berlin, New York, Sarejevo and Toronto, showing that urban space is saturated with performances that negotiate democratic practices.

Yvette Hutchison is investigating the ways dominant narratives of citizenship and nation are both constituted and contested in performative public events in South Africa.

Milija Gluhovic's research on performing the ‘New’ Europe and Nadine Holdsworth's work on the intersections between theatre and nation also address theatrical and performative responses to cities and nations as evolving entities.