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Performing the Other : Report on workshops on Copying and Imitating

  • Kent Sjöström
Publiceringsår: 2019-06-20
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Conference - other

Abstract english

Performing The Other. Report on workshops on observing and imitating
The lecture will present the experience, results and challenges arising within a series of workshops that were investigating the role of observation, copying and imitation in the actor’s work, activities close to Brecht’s aesthetic focus. Claiming that “people will observe you, in order to investigate how well you have observed”, Brecht acknowledges the central role of observation in his acting techniques. However, the act of copying another person actualizes power relations and can be considered cultural appropriation, a challenging and ethical aspect to which Brecht himself did not pay any attention. One of the workshop addressed the foreign body, and was aiming at investigating to what degree the bodily behaviour of e. g. a refugee can be imitated or copied, and the ethical stakes that are present in such an act. Some discussions were raised: what can we learn through observing another human’s social behaviour, not mainly as an empathetic act, but as a method for understanding the relevance of Brecht’s aesthetic and artistic statements concerning social Gestus? Do we lose ourselves if we get fascinated by the appearance of the other, or do we gain new possible views of ourselves? Could the concepts of mineness, otherness and aura be reinterpreted within the reflective act of copying?


  • Humanities
  • Imitation
  • Brecht
  • Authenticity
  • Acting
  • Actor's training


“Brecht under Fremden/Brecht among strangers”, International Brecht Society 16th symposium Leipzig, Germany, 19-23 juni 2019
2019-06-19 - 2019-06-23
Leipzig, Germany
Teaterhögskolan i Malmö, Medarbetare Kent
E-post: kent [dot] sjostrom [at] thm [dot] lu [dot] se