Page 1

by Cam Lecce and Jörg Christoph Grünert

Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Rights report of a study morning

Night Diaries Lebanese Watercolours 2004 - 2011 by Jörg Christoph Grünert

by Cam Lecce and Jörg Christoph Grünert

Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Rights report of a study morning

Night Diaries Lebanese Watercolours 2004 - 2011 by Jörg Christoph Grünert Edizioni Tracce

1st Cover: “Forum” by Jörg Christoph Grünert, stone relief for the big Mandala of the 1st World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2001 2nd Cover: “Palestinian Refugee Camp of Shatila, Beirut - Lebanon, 2009”, photo by Cam Lecce 3rd Cover: Night Diaries. epistrophé n. 6/2008, 40x30 cm, by Jörg Christoph Grünert photo by Gino Di Paolo

Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Right report of a study morning

Night Diaries

Lebanese Watercolours 2004 - 2011 by Jörg Christoph Grünert

by Cam Lecce and Jörg Christoph Grünert Editing: Associazione Deposito Dei Segni Onlus Organization Manager: Cam Lecce Design: Jörg Christoph Grünert Documentary Photos: Jörg Christoph Grünert, Cam Lecce, Sandra Mazzoni, Monalisa Sundbom Photos of “Night Diaries” watercolours: Gino Di Paolo Press Of�ice: Cristina Mosca - Modiv snc 2011, Deposito Dei Segni Onlus with the support of:

L.R. 29/05 Promozione di una Cultura di Educazione alla Pace e ai Diritti Umani

Graphic design and page-setting: Jörg Christoph Grünert Secretariat: Ida Evangelista

© Copyright 2011 Edizioni TRACCE Via Eugenia Ravasco, 54 65123 PESCARA - Italy Phone and Fax ++39 085/76658 Copyright ISBN 978-88-7433-816-0

Printed in December 2011 by Publish - San Giovanni Teatino for Edizioni TRACCE

Printed in Italy

Summary 5


Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Rights report of a study morning


Cam Lecce, Jörg Christoph Grünert, Theatre and Artistic Pedagogy: a Resilient Tool for Human Rights and Education for Peace


Raimondo Guarino, Social Theatre and Working on Ourselves. Elements of Consideration



36-48 1 4 6-7 8 14-15 16 26 35 36-48

Ezio Sciarra, The Vocation of Social Theatre

Night Diaries Lebanese Watercolours 2004 - 2011 by Jörg Christoph Grünert Rolando Alfonso, New Gestalt. Lebanese Watercolours by Jörg Grünert Jörg Christoph Grünert, Night Diaries. Lebanese Watercolours 2004 - 2011

Photographic References Sandra Mazzoni, Workshop “The Living Book” by Cam Lecce and Jörg Grünert, Janana Summer Encounter organized by Al-Jana/ARCPA Centre, Lebanon, 2008 Cam Lecce, Palestinian Refugee Camp of Shatila, Beirut, Lebanon, 2009 Jörg Grünert, Workshop “Puppet Construction and Handling” by Cam Lecce and Jörg Grünert, Janana Summer Encounter organized by Al-Jana/ARCPA Centre, Lebanon, 2006 Sandra Mazzoni (1,2), Jörg Grünert (3,4), Workshop Il Libro Vivente di Cam Lecce e Jörg Grünert, Janana Summer Encounter organized by AlJana/ARCPA Centre, Lebanon, 2008 Cam Lecce, Workshop “Playing with Art: Self-Portrait of Cam Lecce and Jörg Grünert, Al-Jana Centre, 2009, Palestinian Refugee Camp of Shatila, Beirut, Lebanon, 2009 Jörg Grünert, Workshop “The Body and Mask” by Cam Lecce and Jörg Grünert, Janana Summer Encounter organized by Al-Jana/ARCPA Centre, Lebanon, 2010 Jörg Grünert, Workshop Iphigenia, Glauce, and the Others by Cam Lecce and Jörg Grünert, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Italian Cooperation Of�ice in Beirut, Lebanon, 2009 Jörg Grünert (1), Sandra Mazzoni (2), Cam Lecce (3), Monalisa Sundbom (4), Workshops “The Living Book”, “The Body and Mask”, “Puppet Construction and Handling” by Cam Lecce and Jörg Grünert, 2008, 2010, 2011 Gino Di Paolo, Night Diaries. Lebanese Watercolours 2004 - 2011, by Jörg Christoph Grünert

Preamble This publication provides indications about the activities of the project Social Theatre and Education for Peace and Human Rights organised by the Associazione Deposito Dei Segni Onlus at the museum “Museo delle Genti D’Abruzzo” of Pescara - Italy, from 18 to 27 December 2011. The activities included a morning study session Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Rights, and the inauguration of the exhibition Night Diaries. The following speakers provided their contributions in the morning study session about social theatre: Prof. Raimondo Guarino, Theatre History professor, Literature and Philosophy Faculty, Communication and Entertainment Department of the University Roma Tre: The Concept of Work on Ourselves from Stanislavskij to Grotowski, as a Practice and Thinking Introduction to So-called Social Theatre. Prof. Ezio Sciarra, Social Science Methodology professor, Social Science Faculty, University G. D’Annunzio of ChietiPescara: Social Theatre and its Applications between Goffman and Maslow. The artists Cam Lecce and Jörg Christoph Grünert, experts on theatre and artistic pedagogy, Association Deposito Dei Segni Onlus: Theatre and Artistic Pedagogy: a Resilient Tool for Human Rights and Education for Peace. The exhibition Night Diaries, through pictures of the photo archives, with photos by Jörg Christoph Grünert, Cam Lecce, Sandra Mazzoni, and Monalisa Sundbom, projection of the videodocument by Jörg C. Grünert: Theatre and Artistic Pedagogy Workshops with Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon, showed the training and education activities carried out by Deposito Dei Segni Onlus in Lebanon between 2004 and 2011; and �inally Night Diaries – which is also the title of the exhibition – a collection of Lebanese watercolours by the artist Jörg Christoph Grünert with comments by critic Rolando Alfonso. 5

Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Rights report of a study morning

Theatre and Artistic Pedagogy: a Resilient Tool for Human Rights and Education for Peace by Jörg Grünert e Cam Lecce ... «every impossible thing I can think of is possible, everything I think already exists. everything exists in any possibility» ... James Lee Byars

Osama was 17 and was sitting in front of us, in the circle time organised by Moataz . He was telling us, with a faraway look, about his friends blown up in the civil defence ambulance during the war that had just ended. Osama and other volunteers on two ambulances were assisting injured people after Israeli air force bombing in the south of Lebanon. Right after they loaded the injured and were ready to go, the other ambulance was hit by a bomb, which killed his friends. The circle had been prepared so that anyone could tell about his/her experience during the war. I was particularly attracted by the way Osama told his stories, as I could understand he was still shocked. Although Moataz insisted in asking him to speak about how he felt, he could not speak about himself and repeated just what happened. An incredible sadness slowly fell on us. We had a lump in our throat, and our emotional susceptibility was upset. We were in Lebanon in September 2006. The war had stopped 15 days before, and Al Jana/Arcpa Centre of Beirut, in spite of the dif�iculties, had been able to organise the Janana Summer Camp in extremis and in urgency, as they were sure about the need to avoid missing the annual international meeting for exchanges, practices, and training on artistic and holistic languages. So they asked us, international operators, to go to Brumana to start the residential campus with the participation of about 150 people. The next morning, Osama was one of the participants in our workshop on puppet making, handling, and dramatisation techniques.

Moa’taz Dajani is a sculptor, pedagogue, art director, and coordinator of the Al Jana/ Arcpa Centre (Arab Resource Centre for Popular Arts) of Beirut, Lebanon, http:// We have worked with the Centre since 2004.


Cam Lecce, Jörg Grünert, Didactic Theatre in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon, in Teatro e Storia, Annali 29 XXII (2008), p. 399-423 2


With dedication and diligence, Osama started making his puppetcharacter, an Israeli soldier, he said. While he was working, he looked sullen and was silent, distant, atomised. However, he worked with passion and made his puppet with many details. Osama asked and learned how to make the facial features accurately to create a facial expression; cut the fabric and sewed the puppet’s costume using needle and thread naturally; prepared the wool for hair; cut the shapes of paper hands, etc., until he reached the point when his puppet required being animated to exist as a character in the story invented by the workshop participants. He had to become an Israeli soldier to give life to his puppet/character. Osama looked at us with an incredulous expression and had an instinctive clear and strong refusal reaction. He could not even pretend he could be someone who represented absolute evil. We were asking them to pretend they were something, but they had to become that something, i.e. they had to go through being something else than themselves, but remaining themselves. The puppet is always a fabulous ‘artist’, ready to absorb any projection without affecting and exposing its ‘demiurge’. For a moment, we feared he wanted to leave the workshop, but then, probably for the empathic balance created in the group, Osama decided to trust our activity and animate his frightening character in its gestures, with the voice and actions. A thunderous applause approved his performance... he was exhausted, running with sweat, with his waxen face, and asked to go to sleep. He slept all afternoon and night. The following day, for the �irst time after several days of work together, Osama approached us as friends. In the meantime, Jörg had prepared large paper sheets, tempera colours, and brushes, and arranged them in the room near the workshop area. Osama stayed in the room for the entire day and covered those sheets with colours and the pictorial gesture of cancellation. He had to leave earlier than expected (before the end of the workshop). He thanked us bashfully and said goodbye to us with a smile (�inally). We could start these considerations from the conclusions of the following texts by Raimondo Guarino and Ezio Sciarra, whose contributions highlighted the meaning and need of our theatre 10

and art pedagogy work in Lebanon, and not only. In fact, our activities are also carried out in Italian schools and in various contexts and locations. We feel an urgent need to insist on the recognisabilitygap of the signi�ier, which is hidden in the photos and videos presented in the exhibition concerning the activities and context in which the activities experienced by our trainers and participants at the same time occur. The urgency is to participate and assert ‘the invisible’, i.e. what happens during the performance of these activities, as described by Raimondo Guarino and Ezio Sciarra. We decided to start from an example to afford and try a consideration on the horizon of our ‘holding’ workshops. The examples and descriptions have the value of substantiality. They can be paradigms, but they can also remove the focus from the atmosphere of the matter, and direct the observation on different presuppositions. It’s obvious that our educator, facilitator, and/or trainer activities are part of and promote cooperation, development, and empowerment programmes, to support human rights (the rights of children to be innocent, which is affected everywhere, as we have identi�ied through our experience), and the activities to bring misery, poverty, psycho-socio-economic marginalisation caused by serious traumas and violence to the surface. In these programmes and measures, the ‘workshop’ dimension is recognised and claimed as a ‘tool’ for con�lict management, prevention of social exclusion, and human development. The theatre and art pedagogy workshops, as we intend and practice them, are a speci�ic occurrence within the possible ‘art expressions’, as participants do not produce ‘results’, such as performances, works, etc. (which are anyway almost always produced, presented, performed, and sometimes they are even necessary). However, they ‘produce’ experience of participants, developed in the workshop process, whose ‘result’ or ‘product’ remains within the workshop and concerns just the participants. This is the origin of multidimensionality of theatre and art pedagogy processes, through which they are adaptable to a number of requests they 11

meet to be developed and pay a tribute to its intrinsic passion for living beings in the defence and revelation of their fragile dignity. The social context in which our activities are mostly carried out becomes a selected dimension, as workshops include objectives and purposes referring to pedagogical, psychosocial, and sociologic indicators in their processes: the discovery of an individual’s personal and social resources, self-esteem, independence, recognition of meaningful emotional connections, good mood, empathy for individual’s social networks, sharing to give a meaning to pain, solitude, dif�iculties, to reduce the negative aspect of existence, supporting creative solutions before suffering and detachment, and, last but not least, important training and art awareness-raising. In fact, in the performance of activities, through games, exercises, improvisations, etc., all these aspects become part of a person’s body organisation and a system that goes deep and beyond. A workshop certainly has a therapeutic effect in general. The example of Osama describes the possibility of a workshop to promote the resilient capacities3 of individuals and social groups exposed to major traumas and stress originating from multiple problems of daily life, or as a result of wars, natural catastrophes, sudden doleful events, discomfort, and coercions, and is also ‘measurable’ through monitoring and relationships, that we accumulate through time, speaking about this in the social context. However, we think that this is not its ultimate purpose. Thinking of a workshop with utilitarian functions within the society, or from the point of view of social planning, is misleading, and removes the possibility of a workshop to be a vision in present time. A workshop is an opportunity for the development of human beings, and its energy can be considered as principio individuationis. The workshop enhances the value of intrinsic anthropos creativity and supports it at the same time. The workshop as an artistic vision practices the vision of another approach to training tout court of individuals and 3

B. Cyrulnik, E.Malaguti, Costruire la resilienza,Trento, Erickson, 2005


and communities, pre�igures other understandings concerning the biosphere of human beings. We know that we are our organs, we know that we cannot exist without our being bios, although we easily and voluntarily forget this ineluctable truth too often in daily life practice, under the pressure of normality. At the same time, workshops can be considered as extreme self-defence of art in relation to the normality of society, i.e. art protecting art becomes the defence of human beings from themselves, their forms (or rather deformations) organised to support the status quo that is socially useful to normal present conditions. The practice of workshop eludes daily life, the daily life of persuasions and conventions, regimentations of behaviours and muscular armours and is able to destructure them. Living experiences can be reviewed free of judgements, constraints, and fears. The non-separated body/mind dimension, which is open to the suggestions of multiple intelligence can be found in individual’s body organisation. Certainly, the above statements are driven by our passion for workshop practice. So, it is a partial position on the borderline, as it implies the words ‘art’ and ‘life’ at the same time. However, it should also be clear that the workshop practice is critical for trained individuals and training processes. Otherwise, why should it be started? Its dimension is that of game, and like for any game, we play seriously. Its position is that of non-power, it is not said or imposed, it is just done.


Social Theatre and working on ourselves. Elements of consideration by Raimondo Guarino Being an Actor: a Profession and a Person In November 1979, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of Teatr Laboratorium, Jerzy Grotowski held a conference in Wrocław, which was translated and published in Italy in 19801. In his contribution, Grotowski described contemporary man as a jelly�ish man. «A creature that is carried and torn by contradictory trends. Man’s face, features, wrinkles, and physiology have the marks of this condition on them. Jelly�ish man bursts, but it burns, if you touch it». Grotowski asks a question, which is real and paradoxical at the same time in zoological metaphor: how is it possible to graft a skeleton in a jelly�ish? The cores of the answer are: working on ourselves and strict practicism. «Practicism» is, also in the Polish text, a peculiar and rare word, but clear. Grotowski referred at the same time to the theatre experience that he considered as indispensable (Stanislavskij’s teaching) and all practices and situations it created, at that time, beyond the professional dimension of a theatre performance (i.e. «para-theatre» and precisely the stage of «source theatre»). The explanation of this concept is clear in general: «The work on ourselves, according to the meaning assigned by Stanislavskij, but not with applications concerning directly the actor, or not only or not mainly with these applications. For us – at the Teatr Laboratorium – the work on ourselves must have an organic character, starting from the action with living beings. The work on ourselves can be practicing culture with 1

Ipotesi di lavoro, in «Sipario», 404, 1980, p. 42-49


ourselves. I approach the point I would de�ine as “ecology of man”». Grotowski clearly pursues his constant relationship with Stanislavskij and intended to extend the involvements beyond the borders of essential prerequisites of his theatre experience. He intended, to summarise a central signi�icant matter in contemporary theatre, to preserve them and bring them beyond the horizon of the actor work. The �ield change was possible in a consistent sense with the bases of Stanislavskij’s experience. The concept and practice of the «work of actors on themselves», as the title of the �irst book The Work of Actors said – the book was published posthumous in 1938 (the same year Stanislavskij died) –, originated from shifting of the actor work to the person. This movement was shown and explained by Stanislavskij in the memories of My Life in Art, published in 1924, precisely where the difference between the condition of the actor and creative condition is supported. The creative condition required liberation from the work. The work on psychic technique of imagination and physical actions had to create the «real action» on stage, according to Stanislavskij, to strengthen and discover the «I am» that inspired the de�inition and resources that determine man-actor2 . These crucial prerequisites in the theatre revolution of the 20th century, and in the framework of a temporary balance of Teatr Laboratorium activities, were included by Grotowski in the «ecology of man», the transformation of the relationship between man, nature, and community. Grotowski’s speeches in 1979 ended with a laconic statement of understanding: «In the time of jelly�ish: strict practicism, and through it the work on ourselves, with the others.» 2

refer to F. Ruf�ini, Stanislavskij. Dal lavoro dell’attore al lavoro su di sé, Bari, Laterza, 2003


Conscious Action The concept of work on itself emerges through other systems and for other reasons in René Daumal’s writing and thinking (1908-1944). In Daumal’s life and thinking, there is speci�ic focus on theatre. During the early 1930s, Daumal was aware of Artaud’s work and his interlocutor in the density of contacts precluding and controlling the formulation of important texts collected in Theatre and Its Double. This connection was described in the detail by Franco Ruf�ini in I teatri di Artaud3. The dialogue of Artaud with Daumal should have produced, in 1931, a common déclaration on «organic degeneration» of contemporary theatre. This possibility had no follow-up. Through the years, Daumal had drawn from the relationship between self-knowledge and change, studying Sanskrit grammar and poetry. He thought he could see a living representation of it in Uday Shankar’s dances, in 1931-32. The core of Daumal’s research is not theatre, but its condition, the nerve running through and animating it: conscious action. Conscious action, a moment of practical conscience, is the territory, the central experience recalling the reawakening of essence in the individual, something that will return, to translate it in Grotowski’s consideration, in the notion of «negative way». This recalls the prerequisites of «real action» in Stanislavskij’s language. Daumal, like Artaud, was a searcher of truth, and like Artaud he searched for practical truth, in philosophy as well as in poetical language. Artaud meditated and tested at the same time the «limited truth» of theatre. He wrote this, almost claiming the speci�ic importance of search for truth in theatre as a required delimitation, in a letter to André Rolland de Renéville in July 1932, a few days after a discussion with Paulhan, Daumal and Rolland de Renéville de�ined as «seminar on truth». 3

F. Ruf�ini, I teatri di Artaud, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1996


«I try to �ind and �ix the limited truth of theatre. Through the organic expulsion of inert values of contemporary world, this means obtaining the con�irmation of theatre truth. The appearance of theatre truth can only be done through real and organic obstacles being opposed to the speci�ic and real situation of theatre, in this speci�ic moment, in life and in minds» (A. Artaud4). Artaud was searching for both a practical and metaphysical way to theatre regeneration. In the element of theatre, there is evidence that overwhelms thought oscillations and language aporias. However, that evidence consists of real actions. During the same years, between 1930 and 1932, Daumal was attracted by the radical interrogation «study of ourselves» connected with Gurdjieff’s teaching, represented by Alexandre and Jeanne de Salzmann in Paris. In February 1934, Daumal saw a rhythmic gymnastics demonstration by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. Since 1934, he participated directly in Jeanne de Salzmann’s atelier on the movement, in Evian and then in Geneva. As it is said in these cases, there is no room to study or recover the meaning of inheritance of research on rhythmic gymnastics in situations other than musical, pedagogical, and theatre contexts, where various and important European experiences had already been marked. However, the central question is different and concerns the context and outcome of Daumal meeting with Salzmann, in the last stage of his life, between 1930-31 and 1944 (Alexandre died in 1934): the pathway to essence, or truth, through experiments on physical action. The conditions that mean the break of social �iction, in the discovery of a strengthened reality of the self in Gurdjieff’s teaching, are expressed in terms that are similar to the principles of real action in theatre for Stanislavskij. The experiments on movement move, in these workshops of human metamorphosis, beyond theatre, in the 4

A. Artaud, Oeuvres complètes, V, Paris, Gallimard, 1979, p. 82-84


search of the space of self determination, where the goal is «to control the resources, reserves, usages, and transformation of personal energy according to fair economy, for the best possible results; moving towards an objective; knowing what we want to do, doing it, wanting what is done».5 Daumal’s practical experience in movement education involves the radical transformation of psychophysical constants of thinking and doing, which are assigned to the passive, mechanical, and unconscious dimension of «daily life». «If, even with one experience, one understands how dif�icult it is to do all actions consciously and simply, once we do not have mechanical habits and �ictions, then the view of a man trying to put a foot before the other or feeling his own pace, or saying what he thinks, becomes more dramatic than comical, or rather he is no longer seen, as we have too much to do with ourselves».6 The goal of research is the essence, the context of work, a limited and personal, but absolute dimension. «The difference between essence and personality. We need to �ind the pleasure for this difference. The essence is the nature we were born with. Personality originates from all we learned, acquired, and marked on the substance of centres».7 The work on conscious action with Jeanne de Salzmann becomes through the years for Daumal, with additional study of Indian literature and philosophy, with the attempt to heal from tuberculosis, which will be fatal to him, a reason for living and an itinerary for salvation.

R. Daumal, Movement in Integral Education of Man, 1934, in R. Daumal, Essais et notes. I. L’évidence absurde, Paris, Gallimard, 1972, p. 280 6 R. Daumal, Letter to Emile Dermenghem, agosto 1934, in Correspondance, III, Paris, Gallimard, 1996, p. 49-50 7 R. Daumal, The work on ourselves, Letters to Geneviève e Louis Lief, Italian translation Milano, Adelphi, 1998, p. 55 5


«I try to do the exercises increasingly better, as you ask me, “as a service” and “as we learn a craft”. Work becomes more and more work “on me”, instead of work “for me”. [...] I feel very clearly that “I am” is the opposite of “I, I...» 8 The use of the word ‘work’ by Stanislavskij, in the Soviet context, in the tradition of Art Theatre and in the �inal formulation of his book, and the use of the word ‘work’ in Daumal are clearly the result of heterogeneous matrixes. The concept of work on ourselves is the translation and summary of the morale of experience on conscious action for Daumal, on the mechanisms of conscious movement. It is the fulcrum of search on essence. The convergence with coming to surface and return of concept, and its dilatation, in the tradition from Stanislavskij to Grotowski, is based on the indication of the context where action is the objective element of relationship, the tool for awakening of essence in a person, and on the other hand this saves the essential, as it implies the essence of self, in the passage of theatre experience in human relationships. The connection between creation of identity and regeneration of action (considered as a physical and expressive action) illuminates the connective tissue, which is typical of theatre. Certainly, thinking about Grotowski, we should consider how coming out of theatre, or coming out of the dimension of theatre performance, which marks its itinerary after Apocalypsis cum �iguris, implied the adoption and rede�inition of work on ourselves with the others, as salvation and regeneration of work in the theatre. However, Grotowski, in 1979, thought of a wider hypothesis. He thought in terms of «ecology of man».


R. Daumal, Letter to Jeanne de Salzmann, agosto 1943, in Work on ourselves, p. 118


“The actor, this human being who wants to be known precisely as a person” The excursus on the meanings of work on ourselves allows a few rapid conclusive considerations on the use and abuse of words. When theatre is considered by sociology as the term of reference of a system of roles, identities acquired and �ixed, of interaction models, it is a dead metaphor. It becomes living food when, instead of de�ining conventions, circumscribes and activates the context of contradictions and con�licts, makes it evident and representable in the modi�ication of self, in the work on body-mind. Grotowski’s direction, at the end of the Seventies, in the temporary balance of the �irst steps of work on the so-called «para-theatre» dimension was explicit: keep acting concretely (according to the line of «strict practicism») in opposition to the current, create antidotes to the «time of jelly�ish». On the other hand, for theatre oriented towards the de�inition of «social theatre», the functional and instrumental distortion of work on ourselves is outlined: its therapeutic adoption, its function of adaptation in the situation. The antidote of function is constant operational focus on personal contradictions, on the con�lict of person and world. Here, we should remember the considerations by Claudio Meldolesi on the singularity of man-actor. These thoughts offer necessary indications for consideration, as they summarize, in both longterm methodological and historiographical implications, and in the observation participating in vital margins as theatre in jail, constant and critical care for the relationship between theatre and sociology. In the essay The Micro-Society of Actors: a Story of three Centuries and More, Meldolesi wrote: «Actors are noteworthy individuals on stage and in life,


C. Meldolesi, La microsocietà degli attori: una storia di tre secoli e più, apparso in «Inchiesta», 14, 1984, p.102-111


both when they focus on private relationships and when they run through the world to exhibit their ghosts: no study about the actors can elude the biographical space. Even their socialization, their belonging to the micro-society – the opposite than in normal societies - impose them to remain faithful to a peculiar behaviour; peculiarity is the element of actors» (p. 107). The pivot of the essay on micro-society is not the function or social meaning of theatre as a sector of interest and veri�ication for historians or sociologists, by bifacial con�lict, full of exceptions and revolutions, in the community of actors, the social and cultural frameworks where they act, and among the individuals of micro-society and their separate world. «The actors are individuals who want to be known precisely as persons, and as the idea of a person. They ask that a look is dedicated to them, grazing the phenomena. [...] The social aspects determine the individual aspects, but also the individual aspect is not uninfuential. The actors are individuals par excellence, and have strengths in contrast with their constraints: while it is possible to go from individual to social to understand new dimensions, the collective context cannot but explain the contours of an individual». In the long methodological essay At the Borders of Theatre and Sociology10, Meldolesi referred to the subject directly: «The expression of theatre, in history, has always been referred to social aspects through individual aspects» (p. 135). In the light of the experiences of the 1970s, theatre becomes workshop, as the ground of «delimited inter-human encounters» (p. 132). The idea of necessary «limited truth» that Artaud assigned to theatre, at the time of his dialogues with Daumal reappears here, strongly, placed in the walls, in the reclusion, and ghettos calling for liberation. In this limitation, the concentrated power of action unmasking the «I am» and transforming it is recognized.

C. Meldolesi, Ai con�ini del teatro e della sociologia in «Teatro e Storia», 1, 1986, p. 77-151 10


In the additional summary of the essay on Imagination against Marginalisation. The Italian Experience of Theatre in Jail11, it is written that «no form of artistic communication, like theatre communication, can be used to reactivate individuals in social groups, supporting them in passing from shade to light. The theatre is the place of light, where individuals acquire the right of attention even for a small gesture or for a sign of desire». Especially in reclusion, theatre is «individual revelation in the collective context». The real paradox of theatre man in the experiences that determined the Twentieth Century is that his capacity to create and defend the community opens him to the world in relation to radical question on himself. The scenarios and masks, circumstances, frames and situations, the tools of distance and transformation are not used for a con�irmation or a variation of roles, but for the creation of self, in relation to the reinvention of the material dimension of actions and relationships. The skills and experience of operators who train, and train trainers, in «social theatre» must be considered as an inheritance of the crisis that marked the reasons of theatre communities of the last century, not as theatre workshops, but as atmospheres of discipline and change, projected in the con�lict between individual creative intention, art markets, and �ight for survival. *** It is obvious that theatre takes and gives back to the social context. The essential aspect is to understand how those who come from theatre are able to reabsorb this �low, this generative strength to save theatre’s life, and to protect theatre against the pressure of normality, to mobilize human forces, and the con�lict becomes sustainable.

C. Meldolesi, Immaginazione contro emarginazione. L’esperienza italiana del teatro in carcere, in «Teatro e Storia», 16, 1994, p. 41-68 11


The Vocation of Social Theatre by Ezio Sciarra Social theatre has its salvi�ic vocation. It is used for healing, for salvation, through representation experienced in a �iction. How is it possible that through �iction, a worn mask, the pathway of care and salvation can be followed? Clearly because there is a deep link between theatre and social life, the same link for which classical theatre inaugurated in Greece, in the interpretation by Aristotle, the sublimation function in public representation of social and human dramas. We are now more aware of a deeper function than the classical function exercised by theatre, in addition to the sublimation, pedagogical, and ethical and aesthetic orientation function, to illuminate and go beyond anomies and social contradictions. This is the function that Guarino, a �ine theatre historian, identi�ies in the practices and theories of great masters of contemporary schools, such as Artaud1 and Grotowski2, who interpret theatre as work on ourselves, on the movement of our living body, intentionally directed to a simulation where theatre safeguards its �iction speci�icity, which is an “authentic” �iction. This search for authenticity was already experimented by Moreno’s3 social drama. The authentic speci�icity and vocation of theatre consists of wearing a mask to play to become something else. However, in doing this, instead of being expropriated of our own identities, �iction is played to recover and express a more authentic and deep identity, to recover the “I am”, in addition to “I-I” that nature and society has done of us. In this sense, it is possible to speak about the problem of theatre as the problem “of man’s ecology”: we need to wear 1 2 3

A. Artaud, Il teatro e il suo doppio, Einaudi, Torino, 1968 J. Grotowski, Per un teatro povero, Bulzoni, Roma, 1970 J.L. Moreno, Principi di sociometria, Milano, 1964


�iction to come out of anything fake done of us, to recover hidden harmony, from which a person and human nature emerge4. Literally, the person is the mask, and man masks himself to be a person. This is the therapeutic secret of theatre, as it discovers diagnostically and heals pragmatically, through the exercise of an actual experienced simulation, which is the fracture inserted between me and me, to rediscover what I am, in addition to the fracture of inauthentic constructions made on me. This is a deeper therapeutic function than any psychology or psychotherapy, which are analyses and actions from outside, whereas theatre operates on lived body, beyond any internalexternal separations. On the contrary, we are much closer to existential anthropology for which a person is always a constituentconstituted connection. On one hand, a person is conscious and free intentionality, beyond any inertia of nature of the society that constructs that person. On the other hand, a human individual is the unplanned result of strati�ications of the nature of the society that form the individual, in an irreducible tension of intentioning conscience to overcome the alienation of what formed the individual, through the individual’s constituent project of unlimited tendential freedom. For this reason, a person is an unsolved connection and open constituent-constituted connection, permanently searching for the authenticity of free intentional conscience, in addition to the alienation of natural and social conditioning that formed it. On this platform of existential anthropology, which refers to Sartre5 in particular, who was also a dramaturge not by accident, it is possible to build a perspective of social See E.Morin, Il paradigma perduto. Che cos’è la natura umana, Bompiani, Milano, 1974 5 J.P.Sartre, Critica della ragione dialettica, Il Saggiatore, Milano, 1963, and see E.Sciarra, Il metodo dell’antropologia storica di Sartre, Edizioni Scienti�iche, Sigraf, Pescara, 2009 4


theatre as the recovery of authentic human identity, beyond the expropriation of man from himself, in nature as well as in society. In fact, the personality is a complex bio-psycho-cultural system. Man has a body, a psyche, a culture, and his integrity consists of maintaining a free organised balance between these components. The person is a mask built on these components, but the person’s identity as a mask perceived by the others or self-perceived while playing in the theatre of life does not coincide at all with the objective properties of the person’s bio-psycho-cultural components. The conscience always identi�ies a self, which is different and more authentic, in which its own mask, personality, and accepted identity is recognized, in relation to the objective properties, which are often alienating and not accepted of biopsycho-cultural components. Assaggioli6, an Italian master and founder of psychosynthesis, said that even the sickest personality is able to recognise a healthy self, in the bottom of its conscience, and in relation to its identity, this personality understands its diversity as a sick person. As Pirandello7 knew very well – as the inaugurator of the complexity of postmodern world – personality carries many masks perceived by itself and the others. These masks change in the various theatres of society, as Goffman8 knew very well. Therefore, the absolute identity of Cartesian self that inaugurated modernity is now a non-actual and short-lived background. In these multiple masks in which we are always different from ourselves, conscience recognises, but not necessarily accepts, the actual properties of biology, of the body, whose genetic code constructs us as individuals with speci�ic characteristics that we did not want and are often not desirable for us, for example as R.Assaggioli, Principi e metodi della Psicosintesi Terapeutica, Astrolabio-Ubaldini, Roma, 1973 7 L.Pirandello, Maschere nude, Mondadori, Milano, 1986 8 E.Goffman, La vita quotidiana come rappresentazione, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1969 6


concerns how tall we are, the colour of our skin, face features, way of walking, voice, or diseases. For this reason, the body is a mask in which we do not necessarily recognise ourselves. We wear and use it, but we do not accept its features and properties alienating us. To overcome the alienation of deterministic biologism that forms us, we freely construct a different mask representing the identity of our body to be put on stage and on which we construct our relationships with the others in the authenticity of the self we want the others to perceive as we wish. What happens with the body occurs also with psyche. We �ind ourselves determined by a constituent psychical personality that we did not want, but that we know how to recognise as the mask we wear, without accepting its objective properties. From time to time, we may not accept in the various circumstances of life theatre to be, for example, irascible and revengeful or shy and remissive, or ambitious and passionate, or tepid and compromisers, freely constructing a more authentic mask that an identity more accepted by us and the others, where we do not feel alienated. What happens with the body and psyche also occurs with social culture, which forms us with its individual and collective behaviour rules and its determining values. Our social personality is formed beyond our will by the internalized models of the dominant culture. Our socialization depends on the values, practices, symbols, behaviour rules, conventions, the groups we belong to, whose mask we must wear in the theatre of life. However, we may not recognize ourselves in their objective properties, as we may even feel them as alienating. For this reason, also in the social context we search for a more authentic mask to wear, opening ourselves to free project development of a new and more gratifying game of identity in the theatre of life. If we are in a society that socialized us to the dominant values of competition, success, dominion, and con�lict, we may not recognize ourselves in this social culture and look for a different 30

identity in which social relationships are controlled by rules that are more gratifying for us, such as tolerance, collaboration, sobriety, and peace. The determinism of the body, or biologism, of psyche, or psychologism, of social aspects, or sociologism, produces alienating realities in the formation of personalities and masks of social theatre, which do not hinder project development freedom of a more authentic mask through which a formed person becomes constituent of another de-alienated identity, innovating their creative game in social theatre. For this reason, personologists, i.e. those whose study personality, such as Maslow9, Murray10, and Nuttin11, among others, have studied the indicators of inclinations opening up to the de-alienating dimensions of better self-ful�ilment of personalities, especially in social relationships. I would like to outline the essential aspects of these indicators that I call «relational goods», as they are in contrast with «relational discomfort» in the contexts of social life, which I consider as the pillars of an authentic social theatre. This orients the roles, masks, identities of individuals, conditioned by the alienating aspects of their bodies, their psyche, and their social cultures to the liberating values of theatre. The liberating values are relational goods appearing as rules to observe in the game of social masks, in the search for a more authentic ful�ilment of their needs. The relational goods I am talking about are at least four: safety, enhancement, belonging, conviviality, as I described in my book: Paradigms and Research Methods on Self-Organizing Socialization12. They manage the relationships between individuals in the game of social theatre, between frustrations A.H.Maslow, Motivazioni e personalità, Armando, Roma, 1973 H.A. Murray, Exploration in Personality, Oxford University, New York, 1983 11 J.Nuttin, Comportamento e personalità, PAS, Roma-Zurigo, 1964 12 E. Sciarra, Paradigmi e metodi di ricerca sulla socializzazione autorganizzante, Edizioni Scienti�iche, Sigraf, Pescara, 2007 9



and grati�ications. If the personality in its evolution �irst meets the need for safety of children, then the need for enhancing childhood, then the belonging need in teenage, and the need for conviviality in youth, it satis�ies the essential requirements of relational goods of grati�ication in the scene of their social theatre. Only those who can have and include all four relational goods combined in the adult age can represent themselves and be represented in the mask of a more authentic “I am” in relation to those who did not meet those needs and underwent the frustration of a mask imposed in social theatre by the “I-I” of the conditionings of biology, psychology, and society, without the liberating and de-alienating conquest of being, to experience the social relationships in the scene of action of their theatre in safety, enhancement, belonging, and conviviality. Life is this: a theatre convention where we play a role according to speci�ic rules that may frustrate or gratify the self, which becomes more alienated or freer, in the various contexts. In this sense, theatre is a full metaphor of life and its continuous search for an authentic identity, that every person designs to be emancipated from the frustrations imposed by biological, psychological, and social masks that he/she does not accept. Social theatre plays this emancipating role, if the rules of its actions are oriented to satisfying relational goods in the gratifying and authentic evolutionary formation of a person. We start from the need for relational safety. These goods meet the need for satisfying an immediate gratuitous aid in the rules of social game, developing the expectation according to which if I offer solidarity to the other individuals in case of need, I will receive in turn solidarity from the others every time I need it. As theatre performer, I live in a contradiction: I am potentially both Mother Theresa and the torturer of Guantanamo. It depends on the social theatre where I live and the rules I comply with, as if I am �ighting a war I will be legitimated to torture, if I go to a religious mission I will be legitimated to help those who need help. 32

The society is relativistic and excludes only the inconsistency of the actor with the rules that change every time with the change of social theatres. However, every “I” knows about itself in the deep, as it is a meeting place between nature and culture, biology and society, determinism and freedom. Every “I” knows the favourite social theatre for its own authentic identity of “I am”. The social theatre with the rules of Mother Theresa guarantees the relational safety to actors to help, but also to be helped, whereas the social theatre with the rules of torturer of Guantanamo guarantees the legitimacy to torture, but also to be potentially tortured in the future. It is the criterion of reciprocate that de�ines the authenticity of “I am” and allows choosing between emancipation and alienation, between grati�ication and frustration. The deepest need in the reciprocity criterion is the relational good of safety to help and be helped and not to torture and be tortured. Based on this preamble, the evolution personality grows in a social theatre that meets the rules of satisfying relational goods of reciprocal enhancing, after the relational good of reciprocal safety has matured. The actor prefers to play the part of a scene, in which the need for recognising and appreciating their mask within the group is met, in a reciprocal enhancement, instead of a scene dominated by rules to manifest the need for denunciating the limits that every mask can assign to the other, removing its dignity. The person elaborating itself between nature and culture is a mask in the continuous search for a change of image for a more authentic mask, which is a better recovery of self, but within a better recovery of the scene where they play. For this reason, the person is an actor of a theatre of change in historicity, where the determinism of nature prevails and there is no inventive and innovative freedom of culture, and there is no historical theatre. Bees and ants always perform the same play, by nature always wear the same roles in their social theatre, queen bee, drone, 33

worker bee, etc. On the contrary, men have a social-cultural evolution, historicity, and open increasingly new roles and new theatre scenes, as the different civilisation frameworks, which are transformed into increasingly new rules and new differentiations. In this historical change, there is no stable and �inal structure to go to, but there is only the contingency of a trend line, which is open to various identities and therefore to various possibilities of social theatres. The relational wellbeing grows if the trend line goes through social situations in the �lowing balance of which the relational de-alienating goods of safety, enhancement, belonging, and conviviality are established. If safety is mutual aid relationship, and enhancement is the relationship of mutual appreciation, in the rules of social theatre masks, the belonging relational good meets the need for acceptance of a role and status identity within the group, which recognizes function and prestige to the mask-person, which are fully accepted as belonging to the group, instead of alienating marginality and invisibility. Finally, conviviality relational good meets the need for inclusion in the informal and hot relationships within a group, in order to overcome the hierarchy, formalism, and coldness of roles and statuses, to have access to the reciprocity of con�ident, friendly, and equal internal acceptance. *** The vocation of social theatre celebrated in rituals and in representations of manifested trend lines is de-alienating for the person and emancipating for the society.


Jörg Christoph Grünert NIGHT DIARIES

Lebanese watercolours 2004 - 2011 Photographic References 36-37 epistrophé No.14/2009, 30x40 cm, detail

38 epistrophé n.7/2011, 30x40 cm (photo di Jörg Grünert) epistrophé n.8/2011, 30x40 cm (photo di Jörg Grünert) 41 epistrophé n.7/2004, 30x40 cm epistrophé n.8/2004, 30x40 cm 42 epistrophé n.2/2005, 30x40 cm epistrophé n.4/2005, 30x40 cm

43 epistrophé n.6/2006, 30x40 cm epistrophé n.10/2006, 30x40 cm 44 epistrophé n.7/2007, 30x45 cm epistrophé n.14/2007, 30x45 cm 45 epistrophé n.5/2008, 40x30 cm

46 epistrophé n.9/2009, 30x40 cm epistrophé n.12/2009, 30x40 cm 47 epistrophé n.8/2010, 30x40 cm epistrophé n.1/2010, 30x40 cm

48 epistrophé n.14/2010, 30x40 cm, detail epistrophé n.15/2010, 30x40 cm, detail photos of watercolours: Gino Di Paolo

New Gestalt Jörg Grünert’s Lebanese Watercolours by Rolando Alfonso One of the prerogatives aimed at ensuring a clearer conscience of ourselves and the world is that of sudden detachment from an operational - thus existential - standard of living. Being eradicated from the familiarity of a place; the distance from the presumed and fallacious opinion that we have set a �inal order inside us and outside us; in other words, discontinue the deserved rest of a quieted conscience and bring the intellect half-asleep in the habit of what is already understood to live luminescence for a prerogative, or rather an accident that Jörg Grünert was involved in during his stay in Lebanon from 2004 to 2011. We cannot say for sure whether this was the ineluctable consequence of the challenging pedagogical work done in Lebanon, which is a peripheral region in relation to the centrality of the European culture. However, the symbolic importance and validity of this work at the level of a gestalt reformulation of visual results is ensured. We could also assign the responsibility of these formal outcomes to the diversity of the geopolitical context, which is recently pervaded by renewed dynamics that have restarted a jammed historical system. However, they have chiselled a practicable response, a recovery of speech in doing, as both colour use and pictorial action. His placement on the threshold of automatic colour management resets any unsolved con�licts in contemporary world and reopens the fault dynamicity of questions already identi�ied and tested in history, which probably did not reach an exhaustiveness of their cognitive activity during the period that combined the 1920s and 1930s. 39

We can also say that this detachment put him in a new perspective that allowed him facing the classi�icatory determinism that has infected the context of visual arts during the last two decades. In fact, after the declared and con�irmed fall of postmodernism – just consider the grapheme illustrating its death in the incipit of the catalogue of the exhibition at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum of London to have a precise idea of this – the need for a new realism is claimed from various directions: a return to object order, to the world, and in the world to describe it again. In this context, which encourages to a new return of �iguration needed by history, the task undertaken by Jörg Grünert with his watercolours codi�ies a different direction, in response to a direct reference from German theory-practice tradition, through psychological automatisms in the use of colour and pictorial actions incarnated in the search for a lyrical and geometrical abstraction. This itinerary, in present time, has a new justi�ication in pursuing again the germinal intuitions on Goethe’s colour and Rudolf Steiner’s theosophical theories, as well as the golden consideration, �inally, of Bauhaus artists. The Avant-garde in thinking and in art had excellent protagonists like Johannes Itten, Vasilij Kandinsky, and Paul Klee, and Jörg Grünert, as a careful and respectful pupil, followed their direction. As a follower, Jörg Grünert sounds again his research on the mystical origin and psychological function of colour and highlights, like his predecessors, their supposed essence and spirituality. He also attaches previously enucleated properties to colours, such as the centrifugal and centripetal trend of warm and cold shades and, at the same time, he accentuates their terrestrial nature in harmony with the spiritual nature, without neglecting the focus on the perception of colours and the sight mechanisms, which is probably the forerunner of a new gestalt theory.


The association ‘Associazione Deposito Dei Segni Onlus’ is glad to present this publication, which describes the activities of the project Social Theatre and Educations for Peace and Human Rights, held at the museum ‘Museo delle Genti D’Abruzzo’ in Pescara - Italy, from 18 to 27 December 2011. The project aimed at ensuring better understanding of the meaning of “Social Theatre”, its contribution in contemporary societies, and the special role Social Theatre can play in the contexts of social exclusion and in education for peace and support to human rights. For years, Cam Lecce and Jörg Grünert, operators of the Association, have carried out intense theatre and art pedagogy activities in any kind of schools, universities, institutions and communities, working directly with the bene�iciaries and providing vocational training and refresher courses for students, operators, and educators in Italy and abroad. Since 2004, the Association designs and performs activities to support Palestinian people living in refugee camps and socially excluded communities in Lebanon. In the Abruzzo Region (Italy), education for peace programmes are implemented in Secondary Schools of the Provinces of Pescara and Teramo, introducing education for human rights through the practical experience of international cooperation activities. The activities in Lebanon professionalise socio-cultural and art operators for prevention of social marginalisation, con�lict resolution, aid to people affected by war traumas, social exclusion, and lack of fundamental human rights, due to the non-implementation of international laws. The context of these activities is characterised by the dif�icult, violent, and con�lict situation in the Middle East. For this reason, they are implemented in the �ield of intercultural exchanges, reciprocity of populations, and international solidarity aimed at solving con�licts through non-violent solutions. The activities of education for peace in Secondary Schools of the Provinces of Pescara and Teramo promote the awareness of human rights, introducing their fundamental value for social life of populations and individuals, and showing how human rights can be practiced through arts and theatre, also and mainly in contexts which are apparently characterised by violence and deprivation only.

Euro 11,00

ISBN 978-88-7433-816-0

Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Rights - Night Diaries  
Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Rights - Night Diaries  

english translation: by Jörg Christoph Grünert and Cam Lecce, Theatre as Social Body and Horizon of Human Rights - report of a study morning...