11 Pages

STORYTELLING Redefining the private: from personal storytelling to political act


According to Seyla Benhabib, “All struggles against oppression in the modern world begin by defining what had previously been considered private, non-public, and non-political as matters of public concern, issues of justice, and sites of power” (1992: 100). This transformation is seminal to Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), in which the sharing of personal stories is the point of departure for collective problem-solving around oppression. In what follows, I explore how and under what circumstances, in TO and other practices, the telling of a personal story uncovers a societal injustice and performs a political act.