Together for a better world!

Theatre of the Oppressed and the Landless Workers’ Movement

Tuesday 12th December 2023 at 3-5 pm (Brazil São Paolo time) / 6-8 pm (UK time) via Zoom

The Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) is a theatrical approach systematized by Augusto Boal within the collectives he worked with in his exile during the military dictatorship, and in his native country, Brazil. It is a set of games and techniques used by and built with oppressed people so that, through aesthetic debate, we can achieve concrete changes in reality. The continuous construction and reconstruction of the method is carried out within communities such as the favelas (slums), indigenous groups, organized collectives and popular movements: students, black people, feminists, LGBTQIA+ and landless workers.

During the 1960s, Boal was motivated by and worked for the Ligas Camponesas (peasant leagues), an important movement which was organized by thousands of rural workers fighting for Agrarian Reform against the centuries-old latifundiary and slaveholding structure in Brazil. From the legacy of this previous struggle, the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) emerged in the 1980s with the aim of democratizing access to land in the country. In 2001 Boal, the Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed and the MST planned a long-term training in TO for leaders representing each Brazilian state. From then on, the movement expanded its artistic-political actions across the vast Brazilian territory.

The purpose of the workshop is to contextualize the development of the TO and the MST within Brazilian social and cultural policies, as well as to relate some of the artistic actions of the MST since its meeting with the TO method. The session will contribute to the understanding of how the artistic sectors of the MST work, especially the Performing Arts sector, Patativa do Assaré. The workshop will provide an oral-visual presentation with practice and exchange of ideas.

About the facilitators

Helen Sarapeck is an artivist, Joker and educator. She learned and worked for many years with Augusto Boal and has 33 years of experience with the Theatre of the Oppressed, especially at the Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed (CTO-Rio) and the Theatre of the Oppressed Study Group (GESTO). She is a PhD student and holds a Master’s degree in Performing Arts from the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO). She graduated in Biological Sciences from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and as an actor from the Martins Pena Theatre School.

Alan Leite is an artist and educator. He is a member of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) since 2008. He is currently State Secretary of the MST in Marabá/Pará and Coordinator of the MST Theatre Brigade – Patativa do Assaré. He is part of the Banzeiros do Pará Artistic-cultural Collective. He graduated in Rural Education – Letters, Languages ​​and Arts from the Federal University of the South and Southeast of Pará (UNIFESSPA) and holds a technical degree in dramaturgy from the Fundação das Artes of São Caetano do Sul/SP.