Performing Precarity: Decolonial Performance Collaborations with Undocumented Communities
Goodson, Christopher Todd
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation draws upon my field work relating to contemporary performance practices in the United States that collaborate with undocumented Latina/o immigrants. Drawing on the latest scholarship regarding undocumentedness, I argue that this population, due to the economic and social realities it faces, constitutes an internal colony of the US. In this regard, I frame the various processes related to these performances as “decolonial epistemologies,” à la scholars of decolonial thought such as Walter Mignolo, Madina Tlostanova, and others. Drawing upon first-person interviews with participants and spectators, as well as my own presence at several live performances, I argue that these artistic efforts (which manifest in the diverse media of theater, experimental video, and public ceremony) are designed not only to counter the mainstream discourse that regularly criminalizes and dehumanizes undocumented immigrants, but also to provide meaningful, inter-subjective learning experiences for those involved. Closely examining the social and economic contexts (as well as the aesthetics) of these unrecognized practices, this study offers a unique lens which shows how performance both garners a greater visibility for undocumented immigrants, and also effects positive change to their state of precarity in the US.
- Drama