The 26th Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) Conference
Pre-conference workshop (in-person in Indianapolis) with Julian Boal:
June 20-22, 2023
In-Person Conference: June 22-25
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Host Site: Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Online Conference Days: June 8 & 9, 2023
“It is the human body, young or old, fat or thin, of whatever color, the conscious body that looks at the stars. It is the body that writes. It is the body that speaks. It is the body that fights. It is the body that loves and hates. It is the body that suffers. It is the body that dies. It is the body that lives!” Paulo Freire
This year’s focus:
Theatre and dialogue start with the body! PTO Indianapolis 2023’s theme of No Body Alone will investigate bodies as systems impacted by larger systems of control: the body as receptor, transmitter, creator, and collaborator. Every person is theatre; the body alone can be space to perceive oneself as such. But when Capitalism, White Supremacy, and other systems of oppression seek to divide the individual from their body, and bodies from the collective power they contain when united in action, the body alone can feel very small. Deeply affected but disempowered. People can harness the technologies for change within their bodies when they recognize systemic impacts upon them, the power of response and healing within them, and the critical consciousness that can be raised together through them.
NO BODY ALONE:
- Bodily oppression exists, limiting the agency of people to define, express, and seek care for their own identities.
- Systemic power inevitably impacts where bodies can go, how they feel, and what agency people have over them.
- Many people and bodies are often excluded from places of power, representation, and conversations or conferences like this one.
- People are taught to be disembodied learners and estranged from their bodies as workers, to believe that body and mind are adversaries.
- An individual’s lived histories remain apparent to their body, as maps of identity and insights into tensions, struggles, needs, and the hard-fought victories or losses of their communities.
YET THEY KNOW:
- It is through their bodies that people learn to recognize what they experience, how they have been constructed by their experiences, and what they might become.
- That they can open new spaces for change through demechanization of bodies.
- That, as Augusto Boal describes, one must “control [their] own body, know [their] own body, in order to be capable of making it more expressive. Then [they] will be able to practice theatrical forms in which by stages [they free themselves] from [their] condition of spectator and take on that of actor, in which case [they cease] to be an object and become a subject, changed from witness into protagonist.”
Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) is an international organization that supports people whose work challenges oppressive systems by promoting critical thinking and social justice through liberatory theatre and popular education. These approaches stem from the theories and practices of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal. PTO fosters collaborative connections to share, develop, promote, and document liberatory theatre, popular education, and other revolutionary actions. The annual conference seeks to provide an accessible, inclusive, and educational space. PTO actively seeks both introductory sessions for those new to Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed practices, as well as advanced sessions for long-time practitioners.
PTO chose to focus the 26th Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed conference on the body, knowing local fights for liberation and bodily autonomy in Indianapolis, Indiana are shared struggles throughout the world. Body oppression has taken many forms, including: anti-trans legislation, abortion restrictions, inadequate medical care, homelessness and the housing crisis, revocation of drivers licenses for undocumented residents, the disappearing of Missing, Murdered, and Indigenous Women, HIV Criminalization, police occupation and state violence, abuse and criminalization of sex workers, criminalization of those in need, discrimination, imprisonment, environmental destruction, restriction of movement, division of families, attacks on education, and so many more on a seemingly endless list.
In Indianapolis – a community that has responded by organizing harm reduction, mutual aid, and street medicine – and elsewhere, PTO is recognizing how oppressive systems impact bodies, separate individuals from community, and seek to disempower the agency within people. Their bodies are receptors, transmitters, collaborators, and co-creators of systemic oppression; how do they embody change through PTO’s practices? How does one use the technologies of the body to come together and create something new?
Early vs. Regular Registration
Early Registration is available until April 30th. Beginning May 1st, registrants will be charged the regular registration cost.
Open Access Member Registration (Early): $85 (USD)
Regular Access Member Registration (Early): $185 (USD)
Organizational Member Registration (up to 5 attendees–Early): $675 (USD)
Non-Member Registration (Early): $255 (USD)
High School Student Registration (Early): $25 (USD)
Online Only Registration: $30 (USD)
Starting May 16, 2023:
Open Access Member Registration: $100 (USD)
Regular Access Member Registration: $215 (USD)
Organizational Member Registration (up to 5 attendees): $760 (USD)
Non-Member Registration: $285 (USD)
High School Student Registration: $35 (USD)
All registrations for in-person conference in Indianapolis also receive access to online days.
Registration for online days only: $30 (USD)