Soundscapes of migrant dramaturgy in relation to spectatorship
Porto, Andreia Porto
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Migration is a worldwide phenomenon that has significantly impacted societies across the globe, creating culturally diverse communities. This work focuses on the representation of migrants’ point of view in contemporary performance and aims to explore how sound is used by migrant artists to communicate their experiences with migration in their performances. At a more specific level, this research investigates the importance of sound in migrant dramaturgy and how it invites the spectator to have a bodily experience through listening referring to being a foreigner. As a methodology, this thesis consists of a theoretical framework mentioning key authors on this subject such as Yana Meerzon, Katharina Pewny, Mieke Bal, Natasha Davis, Lynne Kendrick, George Home-Cook and a dramaturgical analysis following the relational approach proposed by Groot Nibbelink and Merx. The main focus of the analysis is on performances created by migrant artists. To achieve that, I chose two case studies: Intern Terrains by Natasha Davis, a Croatian-born performer and visual artist based in London, and Cosmic A* by Charlie Prince, a Lebanese performer and choreographer based in-between Amsterdam and Beirut. In this sense, by analysing dramaturgical structures and strategies regarding the performances’ composition, spectatorship, and social context references, with this work I intend to contribute to the performance studies field, bringing the spotlight to the artwork produced by migrant artists and discussions about migration from their point of view. I hope that my research contributes to the contemporary art field promoting recognition of what migrant artists have to say. Their voices play a more important role in promoting different ways to share their stories using sound, as well as inviting spectators to reflect on migration in a more empathetic way by making them experience a fragment of migrant life through experience.