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Working memories
Author: David Calder

Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space explores how street theatre transforms industrial space into postindustrial space. Deindustrializing communities have increasingly turned to cultural projects to commemorate industrial heritage while simultaneously generating surplus value and jobs in a changing economy. Through analysis of French street theatre companies working out of converted industrial sites, this book reveals how theatre and performance more generally participate in and make historical sense of ongoing urban and economic change. The book argues, firstly, that deindustrialization and redevelopment rely on the spatial and temporal logics of theatre and performance. Redevelopment requires theatrical events and performative acts that revise, resituate, and re-embody particular pasts. The book proposes working memory as a central metaphor for these processes. The book argues, secondly, that in contemporary France street theatre has emerged as working memory's privileged artistic form. If the transition from industrial to postindustrial space relies on theatrical logics, those logics will manifest differently depending on geographic context. The book links the proliferation of street theatre in France since the 1970s to the crisis in Fordist-Taylorist modernity. How have street theatre companies converted spaces of manufacturing into spaces of theatrical production? How do these companies (with municipal governments and developers) connect their work to the work that occurred in these spaces in the past? How do those connections manifest in theatrical events, and how do such events give shape and meaning to redevelopment? Street theatre’s function is both economic and historiographic. It makes the past intelligible as past and useful to the present.

Open Access (free)
Working memory
David Calder

Introduction: working memory Sauver l’usine, c’est sauver la mémoire ouvrière de ce quartier, se rappeler que ce quartier est un quartier ouvrier, que ce n’est pas rien, que les ouvriers existent, sont encore là, même si on voudrait parfois nous faire croire qu’ils ont disparu. […] Quoi faire de cette histoire pour ceux qui sont là, aujourd’hui, que cela leur serve, qu’ils puissent s’appuyer dessus? To save the factory is to save the working-class memory of this neighbourhood, to recall that this neighbourhood is a working-class neighbourhood, that it isn

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

Open Access (free)
Alternative pasts, sustainable futures
David Calder

-sized, pustular buds glow orange and cast eerie shadows as dusk darkens. If evening temperatures drop, visitors might gather around the fire blossoms (les fleurs de feu), mammoth metal flowers, reminiscent of pterodactyls’ wings, emerging from a fire pit. An array of pipes (les tuyaux) gives the impression that the area’s subterranean infrastructure has sprouted above the soil, extending, rhizomatically, of its own accord. Sounds emanating from the pipes, together with occasional puffs of 176 Working memories steam, suggest that the activity continues, unseen, somewhere

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
Open Access (free)
Putting the countryside back to work
David Calder

Transverse, a street theatre production centre and arts venue, as part of an ongoing effort to refashion Corbigny as a rural cultural hub. La Transverse offers residencies to visiting theatre companies and performing artists throughout the year and serves as the permanent base of operations for Metalovoice. Founded in 1995 after splitting from drumming group Tambours du Bronx (Drums of the Bronx), Metalovoice creates multimedia performances inspired 60 Working memories by labour history, punk music, agitprop, working-class literature and cultural practices, and troupe

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
Open Access (free)
Continuous theatre for a creative city
David Calder

gather such a crowd in Nantes?’2 On 30 June 2007, tens of thousands of people gather for another launch in the park that used to be the shipyards. A 12-metre-tall mechanical elephant emerges from a hangar. Though enormous tyres support the puppet’s weight, it appears to walk on treading feet. It raises its flexile, reticulated trunk above its formidable wooden tusks. It trumpets. It sprays mist from its trunk at squealing children. Its eyes 136 Working memories Figure 4.1  The Great Elephant carries riders along the banks of the Loire, Les Machines de l’île, Nantes

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
Open Access (free)
Street and theatre at the end of Fordism
David Calder

collective designation as fabriques, recall their previous occupations while underscoring their continued status as sites of production: street theatre is made here, not simply disseminated. In the introduction to this book I proposed that, in contemporary France, street theatre is working memory’s privileged artistic form. In this chapter I explain why. It is not merely because, as outlined above, street theatre developed and professionalized amidst economic crisis, the new urban policy of the 1970s, and deindustrialization. This historical coincidence is necessary but

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
Open Access (free)
The imaginary archaeology of redevelopment
David Calder

observe how a theatre company engages with a working-class, industrial neighbourhood immediately before and during redevelopment. PlayRec and SPP restage the excavation of the industrial past. Archaeologists recognize excavation as both destructive and creative. Anxiety about the destructive nature of archaeological work pervaded the field’s scholarly discourse throughout the twentieth century. 100 Working memories Archaeologist Gavin Lucas identifies ‘a critical paradox of intrusive fieldwork, that in order to understand something, we have to destroy that very

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space