Collaborative Critique: Expanded practices of contemporary performance criticism (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission)

Damian Martin, Diana (2020) Collaborative Critique: Expanded practices of contemporary performance criticism (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission). The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. ISBN 978-1-8383967-5-6


This practice research is a multi-component output consisting of a series of inter-related criticism projects which I developed as a critic and writer, as well as a series of accompanying written findings. The research expands the political and creative scope of cultural criticism at a time of fundamental changes to the role of critical communication for democratic politics. The project emerged from my sustained inquiry into cooperative and collective structures for criticism, and professional and lived experience as a mixed ethnicity migrant critic and researcher operating across different political and cultural ecologies in Europe.

The research brings new insights into performance criticism as a distinct performative critical practice, rather than an instrument for performance dissemination. It examines the inter-relation of political structures within criticism (such as form, authorship and production) with its institutional regulation, by mainstream media, the blogosphere or cultural infrastructures on the one hand, and gendered, colonial conceptions of political rationality on the other. The project investigates the role of affective entanglements, cooperative strategies and techniques, such as the live, speculative or fictional, to act as political participation and change.

The project drew on methodologies from performance studies, creative writing and political theory, and unfolded through a series of collaborations with artists, researchers and writers; fieldwork engaging with communities from across Europe, academic, non-academic and professional; training programmes in partnership with organisations at the forefront of experimental performance practice; editorial collaborations that developed modes of collective critical writing; and residencies with independent cultural organisations.

The research has been shared internationally (UK, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Serbia) through presentations, conferences, publications in peer-reviewed journals, articles in open access platforms and websites, and creative and digital publications.


Published Version - PDF (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission)

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