Practice, pedagogy, power: Shaping and strengthening popular education in South Africa through street theatre

This is a detailed report on a 'street theatre as popular education' project undertaken by Traditions of Popular Education in collaboration with the Popular Education Programme, August –December 2015, in Cape Town. The project was both a popular education and a research project: firstly, it undertook to teach members of the public in economically and socially poor areas about Tuberculosis (TB) The play addressed issues of stigma and focused on the politics of TB.

 

Popular education has always used drama as one pedagogic tool for exploring attitudes, rehearsing new behaviours, practicing speaking up and out. However, the study concludes that this is not the same as performing political theatre in public and using it as a tool for firstly, reaching new audiences and, secondly, drawing awareness to important issues. In this way street theatre is a useful tool for presenting issues that are often perceived as ‘private troubles’ and showing them as public issues that require collective attention and action.

 

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