This talk moves to examine the discourse of the Iraq war and the ways in which the endemic political violence of recent decades in Iraq has been represented in drama, both by Iraqi playwrights writing in Arabic, and by English-language playwrights, mainly in the UK and the US, where the issues surrounding the justification and conduct of the 2003 invasion have generated intense political debate. How do Arab and non-Arab playwrights differ in their representations of political violence, in terms both of critical perspective and of dramatic strategy? From what perspectives, and with what dramatic strategies and modes of representation, have they managed to put it on stage? And how adequately have they done so, in terms both of political insight and analysis, and of artistic achievement?
About the speaker
Amir Al-Azraki is an Assistant Professor of Arabic language, literature, and culture (Renison University College, University of Waterloo). He received his BA in English from the University of Basra, his MA in English literature from Baghdad University and his PhD in Theatre Studies from York University in Toronto, Canada. Al-Azraki is also certified in TESOL and TASOL (Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages). He is a Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner and playwright who works across cultures to highlight and facilitate discourse and interchange through his work. His projects in Applied Theatre have been employed in workshops throughout Canada, USA, Argentina, and Iraq. He has worked with women artists, students, and refugees, utilizing Theatre of the Oppressed techniques to address human rights issues. Among his plays are: Waiting for Gilgamesh: Scenes from Iraq, Stuck, The Mug, and The Widow. Al-Azraki is the author of The Discourse of War in Contemporary Theatre (in Arabic) and co-editor and co-translator of Contemporary Plays from Iraq.
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