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Performance Research

A Journal of the Performing Arts

Volume 23, 2018 - Issue 4-5: On Reflection – Turning 100

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Civility, Empathy, Democracy and Memory

Exploring the ‘we’ in compromised times

Pages 328-336
Published online: 29 Oct 2018
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In this article I explore a number of ideas concerning civility and its relationship to democracy and empathy inspired by events (both political and cultural) in late 2017 and 2018. These ideas are a way of reflecting on the temper of our angry times, asking questions about how we engage with each other in ways that help to promote understanding and respect and the role that culture can play in facilitating this process. I end with a contemplation of three works I saw in 2018, Robin Campillo’s 2017 film 120BPM, Lluís Pasqual’s theatre production In Memoriam (Teatre Lliure Barcelona) and Albert Boadella’s performative Tabarnia. By exploring the ways in which they engage with cultures of (mis)representation, I offer a series of reflections on the ways in which culture can reaffirm its civic responsibility and offer modes of thinking through issues of community, civility and camaraderie in troubled times.


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