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The drama of resilience: learning, doing, and sharing for sustainability

Katrina Brown, Geography, University of Exeter
Natalia Eernstman, Golden Tree Productions
Alexander R Huke, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
Nick Reding, S.A.F.E. Kenya


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We discuss the use of participatory drama and transformative theatre to understand the sources of risk and resilience with coastal communities. We analyze and describe two performances developed as part of a project exploring people’s resilience to extreme weather events and to coastal dynamics in the face of climate change. We examine the process of devising the performance, which used various elicitation techniques to examine what matters to people in times of change and how people are able to respond to changes now and in the future. We discuss how creative practices such as participatory drama may contribute to the understanding of resilience, challenge assumptions, and bring new perspectives. Finally, we discuss how participatory drama informs action- and solutions-oriented work around resilience, poverty, and change.

Key words

climate change; coastal communities; forum theatre; participatory drama

Copyright © 2017 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087