Practising freedom: combatting modern slavery in heterotopic spaces

Stephen Collins, Nii Kwaterlai Quartey

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Abstract

From 2018 – 2022, Dr Collins and Act for Change undertook a series of community arts-based research projects in James Town, Accra. These projects were designed to engage with survivors of modern slavery in the James Town community and, using performance, bring their stories to a local audience with the aim of building collective resilience to combat modern slavery. One of the key areas of enquiry to emerge from the project was the function and dynamics of Act for Change’s theatre space, the James Town Community Theatre Centre (JTCT). Founded in 2011 in a former boxing gym, the JTCT sits within the bustling centre of James Town and over the past decade has become known in the community as a vibrant arts venue. In this article, we discuss how the JTCT’s geographical and cultural position within the community, and its physical layout, enhanced the overall research project. Engaging with Foucault’s definition of heterotopias, we position the JTCT as a space that reflects the specific dynamics of the community, where complex and sometimes painful topics can be brought forward, engaged with and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalPerformance Research
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2023

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