The introduction begins with an overview of the relationship of the arts and conflict over the last hundred years, pointing out the enduring influence of the First World War, and the influence of the arts on popular memory of that conflict, as well as the emergence of new technological art forms such as television and video installations. It discusses briefly the question of the relationship between arts and politics and provides some examples of problematic aspects of this relationship, for example in the British tradition of government sponsored war art. It gives a historical and contemporary overview of the world-wide context of live performance strategies which engage with situations and themes of conflict, oppression and social justice including those in the metropolitan centers of former imperialist nations, African storytelling theatres, the anti-colonial theatre movement in India, with its indigenous narrative traditions, and the Filipino People’s Theatre Network under the Marcos regime. It gives attention to the work of Augusto Boal in Brazil and his introduction of Forum Theatre, an important method of engaging with conflict transformation and reconciliation, which has become popular in many parts of the world and which is discussed in one of the essays which follow. It goes on to introduce the essays which include consideration of arts as a tool of the establishment, to arts as resistance, and arts as counter narrative.


instrumentalism, propaganda, protest poetry, subversion, transitional justice

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)