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Drama Boreale 2018

Welcome to Gothenburg and Drama Boreale 2018, a Nordic conference in Drama / Theatre and education where we will focus on an exploration of the concept of Ensemble Learning.

The conference will take place at the University of Gothenburg 6-10 August 2018.


Drama Boreale is arranged every three years and has since 1995 been alternated between the different Nordic countries, which means this edition is the ninth in the scheme. The Department of Sociology and Work Science is the main organizer but planning and implementation take place in close collaboration with other departments at the university as well as other drama organisations in Sweden.

Our form / theme is Ensemble Learning; a term discussed in Drama (Jonothan Neelands / Helen Nicholson et al.). Here the term is primarily linked to the potential of collective learning in Drama / Theater in relation to democracy. The concept of Ensemble Learning is also discussed in the field of Social Learning / Learning for Sustainable Development (Arjen Wals). Here it is resembled the improvisational jazz ensemble, with its focus on collaboration and openness for the yet unformulated, beyond existing norm. In both fields the importance of alternative stories are stressed, this because the normal - status quo - has proven unsustainable and instead leading to a global dysfunctional system, resulting in increased inequalities and climate change. We therefore need to move towards paradigms that involves disturbance, not refurbishment - of the status quo, i.e. a post-normal perspective.

With the 2018 edition of Drama Boreale, we want both to relate - and break - with previous Nordic drama conferences. We see clear traces of Drama Boreale 2015, such as the anger stemming from Big Brum's former leader, Chris Coopers, who raged at the fact that Drama more often is seen as a tool for market adaptation instead of creating humanity. We were encouraged by Sisters Academy, who mix performance, art, action research, activism and pedagogy. Professor Björn Rasmussen, who discussed the links between drama education and the French philosopher Rancière, led us to consider if we could change the overall design of the conference, from a focus of the sole expert to the exchange of participants, the collective learning. The choice of conference design and theme also relates to a Swedish critical adult learning tradition, folkbildning, originating from a collective resistance to the current status quo. We also look forward to a cross-fertilization in the encounter between drama / theater and the research issues discussed here at the Department of Sociology and Work Science such as; resistance, social change, emotions, agency, complexity, conflict, feminism, etc.

Ensemble Learning will be the form as well as the content of the conference. We want to focus on those of us who turn up, our temporary ensemble, and one of the cores in Drama, the ability to relate to what's beyond the existing, the as –if reality, other stories, scenarios beyond the existing.

What emanates from our joint drama process, the interaction between the 150-200 participants, then becomes a commonly owned material. A common treasure which all of us can relate to and further our joint understanding by performances, research articles, new educational innovations etc. In relation to the conference, we will also explore possibilities for developing creative process-documentation as well as investigating ways to reflect our Nordic perspectives in an international perspective.

Well, what will actually happen we can´t know, but we are very curious ...
So with the hope of seeing you here we would hereby like to warmly welcome you to Gothenburg in August 2018.

Page Manager: Anders Östebo|Last update: 5/31/2017
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