Anti-war guerrilla performance

04Jun07

Before I discovered media studies, I was a theater guy – I did a lot of performance, directing, music directing, etc. with an emphasis on political theater. I still miss the direct connection between performer & audience that can occur in a live performance, but I soured on theater because I found that the interesting work that was being done was solely found in the elite spaces of highbrow theater, and that theater had ceased being a form of popular culture accessible to & engaged with most people. My ideal of performance as political didn’t mesh with my experiences working with political theater companies where the only real politics was interpersonal jockeying for position within a troupe.

Perhaps the rise of YouTube can change that, bringing engaging performance to a broader audience. Exhibit A: this excellent anti-war performance on the streets of NYC by Iraq Veterans Against the War – obviously its power would be more profound in person, but as captured & shared video, it still feels present in ways that most performance cannot.



2 Responses to “Anti-war guerrilla performance”

  1. 1 chutry

    Hi Jason, thanks for posting this video. Living in a military town, I’ve come to appreciate the work that IVAW has been doing in communicating their opposition to the war, and this video is pretty compelling. In particular, I was fascinated by the reaction shots of the people who witnessed the soldiers’ performances.

    Like you, I’m wondering how YouTube functions to mediate this performance and whether it can be used to revive the kinds of political theater you describe. In fact, I may use my upcoming Flow column as an excuse to work through some of these issues.


  1. 1 FlowTV » Bringing the War Back Home: YouTube and Anti-War Street Theater

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