São Paulo 2017



The University of São Paulo Postgraduate Studies Program will host at the Department of Performing Arts, with the support of USP Theater, the 2017 IFTR Conference, during the week of July 10th to July 14th. We are convinced that the initiative will attract many Brazilian scholars from the entire country, thus contributing to increase IFTR’s reach. In addition, the city of São Paulo offers a very good transportation network, which will help delegates to participate in conference activities on the university’s campus as well as enjoy the city’s many theatrical and performing events.

The 2017 conference theme, Unstable Geographies: Multiple Theatricalities,aims at the political and economic issues underlying the territorial and symbolic conflicts of a globalized world and, at the same time, targets the expansiveness of theatrical and performative fields that recognize and surprise each other. Massive migrations and the growing deterritorialization of human cultures have been accompanied by increasingly unstable artistic standards, concepts and institutional relations.

Brazil has historically welcomed forms of aesthetic representation from the Northern hemisphere and reprocessed them from a unique perspective that includes indigenous and African diasporic cultures. Contemporarily, the country presents itself as an exemplary locus for the multiple manifestations of an expanded and impermanent theatricality. Brazil was and is a complex mestiçagem of mingled races, ethnicities, nationalities and religions; it constitutes a malleable geographical phenomenon in which territories did not become distinct nations, as happened in other parts of Latin America. Instead, the country is made up of states and regions, with their cultures, accents and own vocations and individual identities founded mainly on differences.

The 2017 Conference site offers a space to consider the intense contemporary migratory flows and counterflows in which the peripheral regions of the globe radiate vitality to the Northern hemisphere and reverberate their traditions from a distinct point of view.

In this context, thinking about theatre and performance as open opportunities for action implies the search for more transformative relationships between art and society.


The following possible fields can inspire and direct the participants contributions:

Art and insurrection: ethics, aesthetics and politics

In a conflagrant world, could insurgence be faced not just as a political, but also as an aesthetic and ethic presupposition?

Territories of conviviality and confrontation: hybrid sites of theatre and performance

To face the tensions imposed territoriality nowadays, between peaceful and warlike conviviality,  would the sites of enacting theatre and performances become hybrids of representation and existence?

Spaces of subjectivity: art and life

In which senses the subjectivities in contemporary art and life are open and porous to difference and alterity? How can solidarity and compromise be thought as compatible with singularity and uniqueness?

Boundaries of history: memory and invention

What connections between past and future mobilize actions in the present? In what way do experiences, collective work and critical reflection articulate with each other? Which concepts of theater history dialogue with current manifestations and produce new traditions?

Pedagogies of crisis: places of artistic passage

How the contemporary crises in the economic and political fields can be dealt with through an artistic perspective? Would the broke of frontiers between the arts be compatible with the strengthening of racial and geographical territories?

Relations of artistic production: institutions and apparatuses

To what extent are forms of art related to productive practices, market pressures and cultural institutions? How is social and cultural development opposed to the standards of economic growth?

Spatialities of theatre and performance: shifts and displacements

Can the tension between theatre and performance be observed in the space? Would special changes and displacements be the locus of this observation?

Flows and counterflows: theatre and performance as and in migration

People migrate and force boundaries, mingle races and create new societies. Theate, performance and social life cross inner frontiers, forcing gender and forms. Would the new shutting of national gates mean a return to fundamentalist approaches about the genders and rebuilding of strict territories to and amongst the arts?

Cultural violences: identities and alterities

Cultural processes are crossed by all kind of negotiations, between the inner and the outer, the centre and the periphery, the autoctone and the foreigner. These dichotomies, which are tensioned as difference and    similarity, becomes increasingly crucial in the globalization era. Can the affirmative processes of identity and alterity happen without violence? Would violence be, inevitably, a contemporary cultural element?

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