Sunday, April 12, 2009

Discussion with Prof., April 7, 2009

On Playwriting, Theater Theory, Etc
-Zizek, Slovenian philosopher, very into pop culture and films, lot published movie sam title, intro

-Brecht: read his "ON Theatre" (specifically the clanis organum, two essays on unprofessional acting,
---his whole idea was keep actor from identifying too closely with the character, so that the audience is not completely drawn into the story, but has a level of disconnectedness that can still see the edges of the theatre frame, and learn from the narrate what they doing, third person, stage directions, ( inrehearsal, so that you know that everything serves the story

-Six Degrees of Separation, early will smith film, really good, see it

-People on Stanford Campus
---Hener Muller, viewed as successor of Brecht,
---Carl Weber, quasi-retied, emeritus of Stanford, maybe talk to him

-Good Idea to be familiar with these people
--- Shakespeare, Howard Barker(hates Brecht, and a absolute brilliant , Eugano Barba (beyond floating island, intercultural theater experimentation, set up connection to cultures, performance traditions are the core of civilization, sense of apprenticeship),
---orbali tradition in Indonesia,

-Peter Brook, Conference of the Birds, one of the most also interested intercultural theater, in 1960s, put together acting troop walked across sahara,
-----involved is Helen Marin, and Andres cayulas,
-----Talisman experience as relevant in cross-cultural exchange

-read: IBSEN, CHEKHOV, AUGUSTA STRINDBERG, )(Hedda Gabler, opening scene, and best example of exposition)

-Seri Moraga: advice: start late and end early, in terms of writing play, cut off first and last 20% of draft 1

-Sonja Kuftinec, U of Minn, Theatre, working in workshops in refugee camps, and ( look for articles she has to talk to her about them if get in contact)

On how to get average American perceptions of Africa:
-Jay Leno style, ask peple about what their perceptions of Africa are., ie: Union Square, cultural antrho, NEED DATA

-anna divere Smith

-neo-colonialist, and paternalistic, modern "liberal" American veiws of Africa

American Artistic Interpertation of Africa, and sense of reconnection of Americans that go back to Africa to find identity,

-Lorraine Hansberry, Raisin in the Sun, her last play, Les Blancs, set in Kenya, and moment of decolonization, put on by Harry Elam a few years ago at Stanford, Prof Tom acted in it,

-our president could be seen as example of that moving into mainstream

-Obama, what Americans think of Kenya, and if that has changed,

Questions to Ask Group to think about
-Give group homework to group, what are your perceptions of africa? Have group ask parents the same question

-HOW DO British and American nature documentaries portray Africans? Especially and almost exclusively represented as problems (poachers) to main beauty and emphasis of documentaries, the animals.

-Americans think of Africa as prehistoric place?
-How do Americans think of African cities?
---Americans might think of Nigeria as center of internet scams and corruption

American perceptions of Africa in terms of Aid
-Americans don't know that most of "international" aid goes to benefiting corporation in United States, kick back deals for purchasing of medicine and food, etc.

-and what effect does this abusive aid have on public health, ie: Mbeki in South Africa and AIDs, perception of Western science and medicine as uniformly trying to exploit African countries

- ASK people, Jay Leno style: What percentage of GDP goes to foreign aid? people give typically widely exaggerated numbers

-Idea for group: flip around Nigerian email scam, in term of offering American aid. email to go like this: "Dear little town, we are a deeply compassionate American NGO, and are concerned with the state of sanitation in your town. If you follow our rules, we will gladly come in an build all new toilets for you, etc. etc."

-Albert Swichzer (1875-1965) as prime example of "liberal" missionary dedicated to public health, that while highly critically of European colonization, still quite patronizing of Africans, AND and how might he parallel Paul Farmer, and how might Paul Farmer self-consciously try to escape falling under Swichzer's shadow.

---Ask students at Makerere University what they think of Paul Farmer

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