Enacting Global Transformation
Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford in Partnership with Theatre of Transformation Academy
CIS Oxford Webpage
WHY: The Purpose
This initiative aims to evoke critical rethinking of prevailing paradigms of power underlying today’s intertwined crises of war and governance, and to shape new paradigms of power by fostering creative thinking, humane responses and innovative initiatives among scholars, policy makers, practitioners and the public.
HOW: The Methodology of Theatre of Transformation
Since December 2013, when it first emerged in Oxford, ‘Theatre of Transformation’ has developed into a catalytic methodology that engages scholars, policy makers, peace and justice practitioners, crisis-affected communities, and the public to address global crises critically and creatively, and to initiate innovative research, policy or civic initiatives to enact global transformation. Through enacted real-life testimonies of transformation, it takes participants through an experiential, interactive four-stage process:
(1) Witnessing Reality: Re-evaluating the crisis, and engaging personally, through real-life testimonies.
(2) Awakening Possibility: From facing deadlock to unlocking & envisaging multiple possibilities for change.
(3) Envisioning Change: Focusing on the optimal vision for change; mapping, designing, internal preparation
(4) Enacting Transformation: Harnessing collective intelligence, forging creative alliances to impact change.
Methodological Sources: This methodology was shaped with inputs from numerous distinguished scholars and practitioners in Oxford and around the world, and informed by decades of study and experience of crisis transformation processes within diverse societies, organizations, communities – and individuals. It integrates powerful, tested methodologies of transformation from diverse disciplines. Since 2014, about 100 performances, courses and keynotes on global crises were hosted by international organizations and universities, in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America. Several events were hosted at Oxford by CIS, Oxpeace, CCW, ELAC, Ashmolean Museum; Oxford scholars informed this methodology since its inception.
WHAT: The Focus Areas
This initiative focuses on the inter-related crises of security and governance. Its activities seek to provide new perspectives, define new paradigms, and foster humane and creative responses to:
I. War & Peace: especially:
(a) Violent conflicts and mass atrocities
(b) Transformative justice in post-conflict and transitional countries
(c) Global migration and Refugee flows
II. Governance: the future of
(a) Democracy in the face of rising nationalism and extremism
(b) The United Nations, global security architecture and multilateralism
(c) Pioneering Leadership, especially by Women to reshape future governance.
The voices, visions and wisdom of students, women and crisis-affected communities are highlighted.
WHAT FOR: Objectives
1. To infuse global security and governance with the human spirit, and evoke more humane, creative, effective and sustainable pathways to enact global transformation, through real-life testimonies and performance art.
2. To propose story telling, testimonies and the arts generally, and specifically, the catalytic methodology of Theatre of Transformation, to scholars, policy makers, practitioners and crisis-affected communities to generate transformative research, policies and change initiatives in response to global crises.
3. To connect and nurture a transformative epistemic community of scholars, policy makers and practitioners across cultures and disciplines to further develop this methodology and foster change initiatives.
4. More broadly to connect scholars and practitioners studying or utilizing the arts in global security crises and peacebuilding efforts across diverse cultures and contexts, and strengthen this under-researched field.
5. To model how epistemic communities can activate the power of storytelling, testimonies and the arts to communicate, educate and enact transformative action.
EVENTS IN OXFORD
2 May 2017: ‘War or Peace?’
EVENTS IN GENEVA
4 July 2017 ‘United Beyond Borders’ at the United Nations Library, Geneva
1. Summary of the Initiative