Performance and Activism

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

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Description

Much has been written about the Los Angeles riots of 1992, which brought out deep racial tensions throughout the city, exposed by media images of police brutality. This book sheds light on another facet of the events, the birth of a dynamic grassroots activist and community organizing movement that has been little noticed by academics or even by the press. It also focuses on the theatrical production of Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, a performance created by Anna Deavere Smith. Performance and Activism analyzes a rich, eclectic, and ongoing ensemble of local activist struggles in the context of the history and political economy of Los Angeles. Building on the important critical urban studies work of Mike Davis and Edward Soja, it also draws on Dwight Conquergood's writings on performance ethnography to theorize the political work of grassroots formations such as alternative/underground media collectives, gang truce parties/picnics, and women-organized prisoner support and court watch groups, such as Mothers Reclaiming Our Children. The book focuses on these events through the inter-disciplinary approach of performance studies, highlighting 'performance-conscious activisms' that help bridge the enormous class, race, and gender divides of our society.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 228 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739133586
  • 9780739133583

About Kamran Afary

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

Review quote

"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.--Judith Hamera, Texas A&M University 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" 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" 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 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 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.--Judith Hamera, Texas A&M Universityshow more