Chapters in Books
2017. ‘The Glasgow Girls: Many Faces of Child Asylum Seekers’, completed and accepted for publication in Gendered Citizenship: Manifestations and Performances. Eds. Janelle Reinelt and Bishnupriya Dutt. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
This book chapter looks at the multiple versions (documentary, play and television drama) of the story of young asylum seekers (teen-agers from Somalia, Kosovo, Poland, and Iraq and their Scottish school friends) who fought the Home Office on the policy of dawn raids on families with children.
2017. ‘Aesthetics of Discomfort: Three Adaptations of Macbeth for the Street by Friches Théâtre Urbain, Teatr Biuro Podróży, and Théâtre de l’Unité’. Translated into Polish as Estetyka niewygody: trzy adaptacje 'Makbeta' na ulicy (Friches Theatre Urbain, Teatr Biuro Podróży and Theatre de l'Unite). Klasycy na ulicy (Classics on the Street). Eds. Juliusz Tyszka and Joanna Ostrowsky. Poznań, Poland: Wydawnictwo Kontekst.
This book chapter examines three very different versions of Macbeth, all performed in public spaces.
2015. ‘Street Arts, Radical Democratic Citizenship and a Grammar of Storytelling’. The Grammar of Politics and Performance. Eds. Shirin Rai and Janelle Reinelt. Routledge.
The book chapter, commissioned by two leading international scholars, one in Theatre and Performance Studies, the other in Politics, analyses artist provocations in street performance that transform a spectator into the story-teller/writer through a lens of political theory on democratic citizenship. The anthology is a pioneering work in its interdisciplinarity.
2017. ‘Aroma-Home’s Edible Stories: An Urban Community Garden Performs’. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 32.4: 1-6.
This article looks at an artist-led community garden project in the banlieue of Paris.
2016. ‘Performing Farmscapes on Urban Streets’. Popular Entertainment Studies 7.1-2: 93-113.
This article explores street theatre companies, like Le Phun, Opéra Pagaï, Friches Théâtre Urbain and Fallen Fruit, who seek to envisage a “not-yet” of future urban farmscapes in familiar outdoor locations.
2016. ‘Breaking a Legacy of Hatred: Friches Théâtre Urbain’s Lieu Commun’. Research in Drama Education 21.2: 161-75.
After a violent clash between rival gangs from Asnières and Gennevilliers in the banlieue north of Paris where a fifteen-year old boy was killed at the metro station Les Courtilles, the last stop on Line 13, city officials asked Friches Théâtre Urbain, a street theatre company in Paris, to develop a community-based art-making project that would augment attempts by the youth workers and others to defuse the volatile situation. This article analyses this two-year project.
2015. ‘Hope is a Wooded Time: Eco-Performance of Biodiversity in Discarded Geographic and Social Space’. Co-authored with Sarah Harper, Friches Théâtre Urbain. Performing Ethos 4.2. Themed issue: ‘Performing Ecos’.
These 'Artists' Pages' create a response/critical review through photography and written text to the practice-as-research project, Hope is a Wooded Time, listed below.
2015. ‘Co-Performance of Bodies and Buildings: Compagnie Willi Dorner’s Bodies in Urban Spaces and fitting and Asphalt Piloten’s Around the Block’. Theatre Journal. Themed Issue: ‘Possible Worlds’.
The article looks at how Compagnie Willi Dorner (Austria) and Asphalt Piloten (Switzerland) focus attention on re-placing the human body in, on and around city buildings to interrogate the complex materiality of urban architecture and imagine an innovative symbiotic link between bodies and buildings that revises normative expectations about city life. It explores how their ephemeral performance installations appear to merge bodies and buildings enabling the artists to dispute notions of architectural solidity and durability, to suggest the possibility of human thing-ness, and thus to question ways of inhabiting the city.
2017-18. Dramaturg/playwright. Shout About It: Women talk about UK agriculture yesterday, today, tomorrow.
This one-woman performance looks at women in UK agriculture. The perfromance was devised from interviews with women farmers, scientists, policy-makers, and service providers involved in various areas of UK agriculture.
2015-17. Dramaturg. The Winter’s Tale.
This co-production between Teatr Biuro Podróży and Imagineer Productions was performed in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral in September 2017.
2015-16. Co-creator with Baz Kershaw. Prairie Meanders.
This eco-walking event was conceived and constructed on the prairie in Iowa, September 2016.
Anna Harpin and Juliet Foster (eds), Madness, Performance, Psychiatry: Isolated Acts (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2014)
This edited collection examines the history of theatre and performance in, and about, psychiatric asylums and hospitals. The book draws together an international, interdicplinary teams of artists and scholars to chronicle and interrogate the practices of performance and madness from the 18th century to the present. Through a diverse range of persecptives the book questions how theatre and performance can help us differently undertand both the history of psychiatry and also the future of care.
'Revisiting the Puzzle Factory: Cultural Representations of Psychiatric Asylums' in Interdisciplinary Science Review, special issue on 'New Directions in Science and Performance', vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 335-350, 2014.
This article explores questions of populism, horror, and the politics of representation. Through a close analysis of a range of cultural works the article tries to unpick how psychiatric asylums and hopsitals have been figured in artistic practice. In this way the article attempts to examine the political role of performance in the cultural history of madness and psychiatry.
Chapters in Books and Journal Articles
'These Green and Pleasant Lands': Travellers, Gypsies and the Lament for England in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, Twenty-First Century Drama: What Happens Now, ed. by Sian Adiseshiah and Louise LePage, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2016 pp. 175-190
'Performing Place, Heritage and Henry V in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard' Contemporary Theatre Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2016, pp. 196-210
Plastow, Jane, Hutchison, Yvette & Christine Matzke (eds.) African Theatre 14: Contemporary Women. Woodbridge: James Currey/ Boydell & Brewer Inc. (Nov 2015)
This edited collection includes academic papers, interviews and a play script by Nigerian playwright Seffi Atta, to reflect on the realities facing women working or making theatre in 21st century Africa. It includes the work of an Egyptian director, Tunisian playwright, Ethiopian actresses, as well as articles analysing how various forms of theatre in Uganda, Rwanda and SA - oral, physical, drumming - are linking local activism to wider global contexts. See http://www.boydellandbrewer.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=14996
Chapters in Books/ Articles
‘Women Playwrights in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Yael Farber, Lara Foot-Newton, and the Call for Ubuntu’, in Contemporary Women Playwrights, (eds.) Lesley Ferris and Penny Farfan (Palgrave Macmillan, Jan 2014), 148-163.
This chapter explores how South African playwrights Yael Farber and Lara Foot-Newton have contributed to the negotiation of ubuntu, an African formulation of humanism and socialism which claims that humanity is defined by the degree to which we accord equal dignity and personhood to all people, regardless of class, race, gender, or status, in a country comprised of diverse and divided people. First, it considers the strategies Yael Farber employs to invoke empathetic audience’ engagement with narratives of trauma and the past. It then analyses how Foot-Newton is challenging essentialist constructions of masculinity while facilitating her audiences’ engagement with examples of violent experiences that are often unspeakable and disavowed in South Africa, asking how we can begin to understand them and so begin to achieve ubuntu.
Contemporary Collaborators II: Magnet Theatre, in The Methuen Guide to South African Drama. Martin Middeke, Peter Paul Schnierer and Greg Homann (eds.) London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015, 59-75.
This chapter is included in the first section of this book dedicated to an overview of South African theatre pioneers and theatre forms, and focuses on the collaborative work of Magnet Theatre. As a whole this new collection of essays provides a detailed account of post-apartheid South African theatre and its engagement with the country's recent history.
‘Between word, image and movement: performative critiques of colonial ethnography’, Témoigner: Testimony Between History and Memory, Auschwitz Foundation International Quarterly, no.121 (Oct 2015), 121-132.
This paper is concerned with the role artists may play in contemporary engagements with colonialism, particularly ethnographic archives, and the issues involved in re-engaging audiences with potentially sensitive material. It uses Action Zoo Human's "The Truth Commission" (Ghent 2013), and Ernestine White (with Toni Stuart) installation "Between words & Images (Iziko 2014) as case studies to exemplify approaches to colonial ethnography and memory. See http://www.auschwitz.be/en-nl/index.php/en/journal-testimony-between-history-and-memory
Joseph Cornell Verus Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2015)
Joseph Cornell is one of the most significant American artists of the 20th century. His work is highly visible in the world's most prestigious galleries, including the Tate Modern and MOMA. His famous boxes and his collage work have been admired and widely studied. However, Cornell also produced an extraordinary body of film work, a serious contribution to 20th-century avant-garde cinema, and this has been much less examined. In this book, Michael Pigott makes the case for the significance of Joseph Cornell's films, both in the context of the history of experimental film, and in relation to our understanding of contemporary audiovisual culture.
Co-edited with Santiago Oyarzabal, World Film Locations: Buenos Aires (Intellect, 2014)
This volume explores the city of Buenos Aires as a stage for sociopolitical transformations, and a key location in the international imaginary. A set of six essays anchors this volume; contributors consider a range of key topics related to the city onscreen, including villas miseria (shantytowns), dictatorship and democracy, and science fiction and the future of the city, tango, and the logistics of filming in the city. The volume is rounded out with reviews of nearly fifty key films—The Hour of the Furnaces, Nine Queens, and Evita among them—each illustrated by screen shots, current location imagery, and corresponding maps.
Chapters in Books
“Theatricality vs. Bare Life”, in The Grammar of Politics and Performance. Eds. Shirin Rai and Janelle Reinelt. Routledge (2015) 80-93
Using Sarajevo under the siege as an extreme case scenario, this essay explores how the embodied language of performance and structures of artistic practices establish a public civic space, offering somewhat paradoxically, both an escapist outlet from the grim reality of the war-torn city and a language through which to articulate and retrieve political agency.
“Performing Belgrade: Itineraries of Non-Belonging”, in Performing Cities. Ed. Nicolas Whybrow. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave (2014) 199-218
The essay draws a personal map of Belgrade around issues of belonging and non-belonging, searching for the city’s new genius loci. It identifies Supermarket, a smart conceptual space, as a spatial synecdoche—a single place, a detail, that stands for the wider urban area and a device to decode the city in the given point in time.
“Born in YU:Performing, Negotiating, and Transforming an Abject Identity”, in Theatre and National Identity: Re-imagining Concepts of Nation, Ed. Nadine Holdsworth. Routledge, (2014) 129-45
More then twenty years after the downfall of the country, this essay focuses on theatrical performance Born in YU that premiered in Belgrade in 2010 and a public debate that ensued, to investigate the meaning and legacy of Yugoslavian identity. Julia Kristeva’s concept of abject had been used to unpack the fraught relationship between identity, nation and representation.
“Spatial Concepts,” in Performance Studies: Key Words, Concepts and Theories. Ed. Bryan Reynolds Palgrave (2014) 156-64
This contribution focuses on spatial concepts, including Foucault’s heterotopia, Lefebvre’s and Soja’s notions of third spaces and Una Chaudhuri’s neologism geopathology, and their applications to theatre and performance.
(2014) Performing Cities, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (254pp).
Performing Cities is an edited volume of contributions by a range of internationally renowned academics and performance makers from across the globe, each one covering a particular city and examining it from the dynamic points of view of performances occurring in cities and the city itself as performance. Cities covered include Jerusalem, Singapore, Sydney, LA, Cape Town, Toronto, Paris and Bogotá, while writers number Sue-Ellen Case, Gay McAuley, David Williams, Mike Pearson, Matthew Goulish and Freddie Rokem. Above all the book explores the possibilities of writing itself as a critical and creative spatial practice that does justice to the city as a place of multiple movements. Where urban writing has for so long been dominated by textual readings of the city – as seen in hackneyed trope of the ‘city as text’ – the case is made here for a move towards a form of situational, relational and performative writing that is premised not only on the multifarious inflections of bodies and actions in space but also on the writer concerned effectively casting him or herself in a role that performs a version of the city in question.
CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
(2016) “Complex Coventry: Towards an Urban Sensography”, Changing Metropolis III, ed. Trevor Davies and Katrien Verwilt, Copenhagen: Copenhagen International Theatre, pp.90-95. https://issuu.com/cphmetropolis/docs/changing_metropolis_iii/1
With the city of Coventry undergoing radical regeneration and preparing to bid in 2017 to become UK City of Culture in 2021, the implementation of arts practices as the means to track and galvanise transformation is an idea that is very much ‘in play’ in the city at this point in time. This chapter presents an initiative to monitor urban rhythms, atmospheres, textures, practices and patterns of behaviour using the sensate, performing human body as a data-gathering sensor and applying techniques of writing and notation, as well as technologies of sound/oral recording, photography and film to respond to, document and process fieldwork activity.
(2015) “Trafalgar Square: of Plinths, Play, Pigeons, Publics and Participation”, The Uses of Art in Public Space, ed. Julia Lossau and Quentin Stevens, London and New York: Routledge, pp.67-80.
The chapter considers a range of creative uses to which London’s Trafalgar Square has been put recently by a ‘participating public’. Against a backdrop of the Square’s historical and institutional composition – featuring, among other elements, 19th century monuments to British imperialist and colonialist power – the chapter aims to draw out the significance of sanctioned and unsanctioned engagements with Trafalgar’s implicit mise en scène. These include sculptural installations, specifically the rotating artworks of the Square’s ‘fourth plinth’ in its north-west corner, and impromptu interventions – in this case a freeze mob – involving large numbers of participants.
(2014) “‘City’”, Performance Studies: Key Words, Concepts and Theories, ed. B. Reynolds, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.304-13.
The chapter is one of 34 essays by internationally distinguished scholars on topics paramount to the future of performance studies. Taking inspiration from Raymond Williams' legendary Keywords, a 'vocabulary of culture and society', the chapter shows how the city has become a central gathering point for not only humanity but the field of performance studies.
(2016) “Folkestone Perennial: the Enduring Work of Art in the Reconstitution of Place”, Cultural Geographies, published online 6th April.
With successive Triennials occurring in the town of south Kent town of Folkestone in 2008, 2011 and 2014, and several works from all three being retained as permanent acquisitions, this article takes stock of the impact of these artistic engagements with the town, showing how, as an ensemble, they interact with one another and asking whether they have the capacity to contribute to a reconstituted identity for Folkestone in an integrated and lasting way.
(2016) "Folkestone Futures: an Elevated Excursion", Studies in Theatre and Performance, 36 (1), January, pp.58-74.
A concerted attempt has been underway for a decade now to revitalise the town of Folkestone on the south Kent coast using the arts, creative industries and education as the drivers of regeneration. One of the main initiatives in this endeavour was the introduction in 2008 of the Folkestone Triennial, a three-month summer event in which high-profile international artists were commissioned to produce sited artworks for the town. Focusing on the third triennial in 2014, this article analyses some of the ways in which artists have sought to engage and identify with notions suggested by its title, Lookout. In particular it outlines a curated constellation of artworks – or complex – that implicitly inscribes itself into the townscape and is characterised by installations that are sited in elevated locations, from whose respective vantage points they contemplate what the future holds for Folkestone.
(2015) “Watermarked: ‘Venice Really Lives Up to Its Postcard Beauty’”, “On Ruins and Ruinations” issue, Performance Research, 20(3), June, pp.50-7.
Watermarked speculates playfully on the city of Venice sinking in the year 2017. As the Giardini site sinks into the lagoon for the very last time, traditional kitsch postcards of the city float to the surface, their waterlogged images still recognisable. In a sense the postcard encapsulates the state of the city: it is an anachronism, a ‘ruinous artefact’ clung to by visitors as an essential feature of a romantic ideal. But it also serves crucially as the comparative barometer for the tourist of a mediated beauty. Retrieved from the lagoon, the flipside of the postcards reveal a text whose style deliberately runs against the grain of communication clichés and perhaps amounts to something like a ‘last post’ from a sinking city.
(2015) "'The City of the Eye': Surveillance and Aesthetics in the City of Venice", New Theatre Quarterly, 31 (2), May, pp.164-78.
Joseph Brodsky’s assertion in Watermark (1992) that Venice ‘is the city of the eye’, providing a sense of security and
solace to inhabitants and visitors via the sheer aesthetic force of its surroundings, implicitly raises questions, in the context of the 21st century city, about the performative nature of not only modern-day urban aesthetics but also surveillance in public space, both of which are dependent, as phenomena, on forms of visual observation. Taking into account contemporary Venice’s complex make-up in terms of its transient and permanent populations – tourists, economic migrants and local residents – and the central issue the city faces of the gradual erosion of its historical infrastructure owing to excesses of commercialism and the material effects of flooding, this article ponders the continuing role of aesthetics in this specific urban context. In particular it considers how both Brodsky’s perception of the effects of the historical environment and contemporary instances of artistic intervention or engagement with the city – official (as part of the globally-renowned Biennale) and unofficial (in the form of graffiti writing) – might position users of public space in the light of increased attempts to implement formal controls in the overall interests of security.