Becoming political: Asylum seeker activism through community theatre

McNevin, A 2010, 'Becoming political: Asylum seeker activism through community theatre', Local Global: Identity, Security, Community, vol. 8, pp. 142-149.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Becoming political: Asylum seeker activism through community theatre
Author(s) McNevin, A
Year 2010
Journal name Local Global: Identity, Security, Community
Volume number 8
Start page 142
End page 149
Total pages 8
Publisher Globalism Research Centre RMIT University
Abstract In this paper, I reflect upon a community theatre project, Journey of Asylum-Waiting, performed in Melbourne in 2010 by nineteen asylum seekers. I interpret the project as a political intervention into administrative and humanitarian practices that engage asylum seekers as either disingenuous or damaged people. According to either formulation, asylum seekers lack the legitimacy to speak for themselves and therefore to engage in political contestation over the borders and citizenship norms they confront. By producing counter-narratives of refugee experience in Journey of Asylum-Waiting, asylum seekers participated in a broader process of political subject-formation. Through this process, I contend, asylum seekers position themselves as makers and shapers of the common civic sphere through which we shape political relations and obligations to each other. They become, in effect, new kinds of activist-citizens and reinvigorate the practice of citizenship.
Subject Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Keyword(s) asylum seekers
political subjectivity
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ISSN 1832-6919
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