Previously at the ICA - Events

Theatre from the Arab World

15 Jul 2010

While populations in the West are diminishing and ageing, the Arab world has a young population that is growing swiftly. It is clear that much work being created by the young generation of theatre artists is defiant, provocative and confrontational within Arab culture. What is their relationship to tradition, religion and their local culture and how do they see themselves and their culture being represented elsewhere in the world? Chaired by Deborah Shaw, associate director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, with speakers including Lotfi Achour of Tunisian multimedia group Artistes Producteurs Associés, we ask how young theatre makers from the region identify themselves; do they see their futures as theatre makers in their own countries or elsewhere and are they being forced into a westernised cultural shape?

Many of the same questions currently being posed by British theatre makers feel even more resonant in the context of the Arab world: can technology, and particularly social networking technology, enable different ways of making and disseminating their work? Does the contribution of oil to the region’s economies make the issue of climate change, and theatre’s potential response to it, feel redundant or even more urgent? As LIFT begins its focus on theatre from this often misrepresented region, can a new generation of theatre makers give us a more nuanced understanding of their diverse and complex cultures?

This is the final of four LIFT Debates that form part of LIFT Club at the ICA. These debates aim to explore our new relationship with theatre in the company of international theatre makers, critics and commentators.

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