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ERIC Number: EJ915240
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1356-9783
Revisiting a Dream-Site of Liberation: The Case of Mukta Natak in Bangladesh
Ahmed, Syed Jamil
Research in Drama Education, v16 n1 p5-27 Feb 2011
In 1984, a group of urban theatre activists of Bangladesh rejected their role as "traditional intellectuals", and sought to join the subaltern classes as "ideologues in action" by mobilising their knowledge and expertise on theatre in a manner that would animate those classes entwined in the exploitive infrastructure of the rural areas. This initiative, named Mukta Natak (translated as "Liberated Theatre"), was intended to generate a "Theatre by the People, for the People and of the People", in which the "people" would be the "organic intellectuals". Until 1992, Mukta Natak flourished as a rousing popular theatre movement at the grassroots level, articulated by a network of around 40 local units and numerous sub-units, which operated in isolated rural pockets. As political activism motivated by passion, which was generated by a vision of social change based on class struggle, Mukta Natak was neither funded by the state, nor international donor agencies but entirely by voluntary participation and contribution of urban animators and villagers. This essay revisits the dream-site of the Mukta Natak movement in order to pick up the pieces of the dream. It proceeds in three parts: the first draws out the theoretical underpinnings of the movement. The second gauges its impact by field-level investigation at two notable grassroots sites--Kansona and Chatmohar--which were revisited in 2009. The concluding section refits the broken pieces of the dream to recover a tangible alternative for applied theatre for the South. (Contains 14 notes and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bangladesh