RAGGED UNIVERSITY: CENSORED.BANNED. THIS LAND.
@ Forest Cafe , Bristo Hall 9th, 10th, 11th August
“For only when free men write and speak with will, shall the arbitrary power be exposed and opposed”
3 days of talks; rehearsed readings; theatre performance; film screenings and our very own Ragged Theatre Workshops
The Ragged activist side comes out at the Forestthis year. In a narrowing world where we have increasing access to information and faster travel between borders, we could presume that freedom of thought and expression had equally been made universal. We could think that as some opportunities expand (and the barriers to accessing these opportunities are seemingly reduced) that aggressive censorship was a thing of the past. We would be wrong.
All events are free and for more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see the Ragged website at www.ragged-online.co.uk
With Three Photographic Exhibitions: Endoscapes, Free Belarus Now and Saeed Bohluoli
11-1:30 Ragged Theatre Workshop ( places still available . We will be exploring banned texts and methods of subverting text in performance with a performance on the 11th)
2-3pm Subverted Polish Children’s Theatre
3:30-5:30 Talk on Polish Peasant Memoirs and Censorship in the Arts with Paul Vickers and Dr John Bates ( Glasgow University)
6-7pm Banned Books and Audio Plays ( come along and read original banned literature whilst listening to recorded banned or dissident Theatre productions ) .
8-9:30 Screening of The Beats of Freedom featuring Polish Punk band , By Desertta led by Paul Vickers and Dr John Bates ( Glasgow University )
11-1:30 Ragged Theatre Workshop
2-3pm A dark and physical production of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and other sinister fairy tales.
3:30-5:30 Human Rights Activist, Mehdi Saki gives a talk on Iranian oppression and censorship in arts and education, focussing on film and literature.
6-7pm Banned books and Persian Literature in Farsi feel free to read and have a look at the exhibition.
8-10:30pm Film screening of Off side directed by Jafar Pahani and Forbidden Sundance a film by Moslem Mansouri about exiled choreographer Aram Bayat.
11-1:30pm Ragged Theatre Workshop
2-3pm Der Sandmann– Rehearsed Reading
3.30-4.30 Theatre Censorship in East Germany - a talk by Dr Laura Bradley (University of Edinburgh), plus audience discussion
Theatre is a live event, and it is often difficult for censors to predict how audiences may respond to a performance. An audience may find controversial allusions, even where none were intended. If they do, laughter can spread quickly through a crowded auditorium, allowing spectators in a dictatorship to participate in a rare act of collective subversion. In this talk, Dr Laura Bradley will explore the role that audiences played in East German censorship, showing how the authorities tried - and often failed - to mobilize public opinion against productions, and how theatre practitioners sought to control spectators’ reactions during performances. Using extracts from censorship reports and Stasi files, she will explore how far East German audiences were able to use theatre as a forum for critical debate.
4.30-5.30 To Ban or Not to Ban: Scenes from Three Decades of East German Theatre Censorship - a radio play compiled by Dr Laura Bradley and performed by Theatre Found - estimated running time 1 hour.
Theatre in East Germany was subject to a strict regime of censorship: theatres had to submit their plans for productions to the authorities, and new scripts were checked particularly carefully. Even so, theatre scandals still occurred, and some plays were banned partway through a run of performances. This programme presents extracts from plays that caused offence and shows how censors scrambled behind the scenes to rectify the damage. The plays range from Aeschylus’ Seven against Thebes to an East German adaptation of The Government Inspector, and the productions show how GDR theatre practitioners responded to the challenges of their times, from the Prague Spring to perestroika. Join us to discover how and why the plays were censored, and how theatre practitioners finally cast aside their roles in 1989 and called for revolution.
6.00-7.00 Challenging Censorship through Poetry and Song - a wall display of poems and songs in which the East German artists Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller, and Bettina Wegner responded to censorship and Stasi surveillance. Sound recordings of Bettina Wegner’s songs will be available for visitors to listen to.
7:30 -8:30 Performances from the Ragged Theatre Workshop
8:30 -10 Free Belarus Theatre – A talk with Natalia Koliada , Artistic Director of the Belarus Free Theatre exiled from Belarus for performing, and discussion with Dr John Bates and Dr Laura Bradley.
CENSORED.BANNED. THIS LAND.