Performance and Activism

Performance and Activism : Grassroots Discourse after the Los Angeles Rebellion of 1992

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This book is a study of grassroots performances and activism in the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, documenting efforts toward establishing truce between warring street gangs, networks of support by mothers of incarcerated youth, and the theatrical production of Anna Deavere Smith's Twighlight: Los Angeles 1992. It situates these developments in the inter-disciplinary context of performance studies rooted in the history and political economy of Los Angeles.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 262 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 408.23g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739133578
  • 9780739133576

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Chapter One. Introduction and Roadmap to the Work Chapter 2 Chapter Two. A Historical Political Economy of Los Angeles Chapter 3 Chapter Three. Performing Peace: Gang Truce in Watts and Beyond Chapter 4 Chapter Four. The Gang Truce Movement as a Space for Dialogue and Activism Chapter 5 Chapter Five. Performing Motherhood: Creating Uprising Textualities and Reclaiming their Children Chapter 6 Chapter Six. Performing Twilight Los Angeles: Walking in the Words of a Sad and Beautiful Poem Chapter 7 Chapter Seven. Conclusion: Remembrance and Reinterpretation
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Review quote

Afary's contribution of performance-conscious activism and activist-conscious performance gets to the core utility of performance for social change and activism as embodied praxis. This important project deepens and extends our collective understanding of performance in and as activism and the ways in which such intention is dynamized on the grassroots level. Performance and Activism should quickly become standard reading for those in performance studies, cultural studies, and cultural geography, amongst other disciplinary formations, interested in the confluence and conflicts of cultural identity in place and space, and the ways in which performance can be used as a critical lens of seeing and transforming the world. -- Bryant Keith Alexander, California State University Los Angeles Performance and Activism demonstrates the importance of performance to analyses of public discourse and to cultural geographies of Los Angeles. Kamran Afary's book makes important contributions to communication and cultural studies, performance and theatre studies, and interdisciplinary studies of urban life. Kamran Afary's analysis of the aftermath of the Los Angeles uprising is a new and exciting contribution to the study of gangs, social movements and urban sociology among others. Rarely has the performance of social change been theoretically conceived and methodologically executed in such an insightful and thought-provoking way. Afary has found the perfect lens for understanding the multiple and often occluded meanings of this important historical event, showing how the most marginalized and demonized of social actors continued to push for a political solution within the webs of hope and oppression that constitute that animal Los Angeles. -- David Brotherton, The City University of New York
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About Kamran Afary

Kamran Afary teaches communication studies at California State University Los Angeles.
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