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Title: Performing agonism : democracy in crisis and the project of autonomy in art's social turn
Author: Makka, Louiza
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 7651
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2019
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Living through the aftermath of the time of crisis, the present research raises the question of the relationship between the 'performative' and the 'political'. Drawing upon philosophical discourses of agonism, autonomy and democracy the research sets out to achieve an understanding of the political nature of performance, one that renders the Evental 'We' at the centre of the political praxis focusing particularly on the Greek case. In engaging with the conception of democracy as a 'tragic regime', as Cornelius Castoriadis suggests, each of the chapters discusses the various aspects of radical practices and performances of resistance that emerge offering a series of analyses on both the aesthetic and political practice of agon. Thus, the question of 'how can theatre and performance become praxis' frames the thematic premise of this research oriented by the demand for a radical and direct democracy. In doing so, the research is mostly concerned with reflecting on the various forms of the 'political' as articulated in participatory practices that engage the social, as seen for example in the work of Rimini Protokoll and Dries Verhoeven, and as embodied in modes of resistance that sparked the protests in Athens during 2010. 'Staging' the project of autonomy, at both individual and social levels, the research offers a critical reading of the occupied Embros theatre in Athens as a main case study, which inspired political activism reflecting on social imaginary significations. While such an experiment did not do much in transforming the lethargic conditions of our times; it nevertheless, remains valuable in confronting us with the limits of the 'tragic' regime of democracy suggesting a continuous process of agon and constant displacement. Placing the relationship between art and philosophy at the core of this project, the research serves as an inquiry into the emerging field of Performance Philosophy.
Supervisor: Chow, B. D. V. ; Richards, M. Sponsor: Greek State Scholarships Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social praxis ; Social imaginary ; Castoriadis ; Antagonism ; Performance philosophy