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Negotiating Hyper-Diversity: Canadian and European Transcultural Theatre Aesthetics

  • Principal Investigator: Koku Gnatuloma Nonoa
  • Funding: Fonds National de la Recherche (Industrial Fellowship)
  • Duration: 1.6.2019-31.5.2021

The project explores the question to which extent research approaches of ethnology and sociology can be useful to theatre and performance studies in order to provide innovative insights into epistemology relating to multimodal processes of cultural encounters and diversity in multi-sited contexts. It also questions the related diverse theatre aesthetics arising from interweaving cultures. It analyses how hyper-diversity and diverse forms of otherness are linked 1) to the multimodality of cultural interweaving and its manifestation in multi-sited contexts in today’s globalization processes, and 2) to socio-cultural, gender, disability and marginalization factors, which are questioned and negotiated through transcultural theatre aesthetics in Europe and Canada.

Seeking e.g. to “provide advice on how best to govern urban diversity”, the “Policy Briefs” of the comparative study DIVERCITIES which has been conducted from 2013 until 2017 in some European cities and Toronto use the term hyper-diversity as a paradigm that combines quantitative and qualitative approaches to identify and examine positive impacts of forms of human diversity: the term hyper-diversity 1) sheds light on diversity beyond the ‘standard’ of migration and on ethnical dimensions and its related discourses; 2) analyses manifestations of multiple diversities in groups that ostensibly seem to be homogenous; 3) focuses on forms of diversity and specifically contextualizes them, owing to the fact that in some contexts the characteristics of diversity may be dominated by socio-economic factors, while in others it may be dominated by socio-cultural and gender factors (see DIVERCITIES 2013: Policy Brief No. 1).

The research project seeks to apply the paradigm of hyper-diversity to transcultural theatre aesthetics and its impact on perceptions in globalization processes: it analyses how some Canadian and European contemporary theatre directors aesthetically reflect on the issue of hyper-diversity and aforementioned forms of otherness. It is based on comparative, interdisciplinary and integrative research methods.