The Politics of Listening

The Power of Theater to Create Dialogic Spaces
Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies Series book series (CFS)


One of the central concerns of activists in feminist social movements, as well as feminist educators and facilitators of popular education processes, is how to support women in having a voice, particularly those women who are oppressed and silenced by hierarchies of privilege and oppression. While women speaking truth to power—telling their stories—is key to disrupting practices of domination (Razack 1998), what has been given less attention is listening. Indeed many oppressed groups have expressed great frustration with the idea that they have no voice; in their experience, they have been speaking, often for hundreds of years (Levinson 1997; Anzaldua 1990). The problem is more of a matter of audience or who is listening, how they are listening, and what their response is (Bickford 1997). In this chapter, I consider how popular theater offers a way to enrich political speaking and listening (Butterwick and Selman 2003).


Immigrant Woman Nations Woman Silk Cloth Coalition Politics Oppressed Group 
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© Linzi Manicom and Shirley Walters 2012

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