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Title: Art of play in zones of conflict : the case of Israel Palestine
Author: Nathan, Idit Elia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 1026
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2017
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One of the effects of the Israel Palestine conflict, with its deployment of expansive state violence and divisive political rhetoric, is the stifling of critical engagement. This practice-­ based research project investigates play as a tactic used by artists from within the region to counter this impact by re-­igniting participants’ critical engagement. Framed as ‘critical play’ (Flanagan, 2009) the artistic practices under investigation unequivocally deploy ludic forms, mechanics, and attributes to effectively challenge aspects of Israel Palestine’s paradigmatic political situation. Central to the thesis is a theoretical questioning of what is gained by deploying play in artistic practice. It extends Ariella Azoulay’s (2012) call for a more inclusive and participatory stance as a means of opposing Israeli state violence. This study therefore examines artworks that tactically harness play in order to critically and physically engage their audiences. Drawing on Giorgio Agamben’s (2007) idea of play as a productively disruptive force, the thesis argues that play is uniquely appropriate for creating intimate and social encounters where artists and their audiences can experiment with and enact scenarios relating to Israel Palestine that, when framed and freed as art, can operate critically. The thesis questions how alternative views, narratives of belonging to the body politic and positions vis à vis Israeli colonisation might be played out. Since documented research into this vital area of playful artistic responses to Israel Palestine’s political reality is nonexistent, the thesis redresses this lack. Led by an enquiry which stems from and includes my own practice, the thesis is in dialogue with artists and theoreticians who relate not only to play but also to Israel Palestine’s political complexity. Positioned at the hitherto uncharted intersection of art, play and Israel Palestine, the research project proposes re-­engagement with utopian ambitions and civic imaginings, without necessarily promising to satisfy them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Politics of a specific country/region ; Fine Art