Fighting for peace
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Fighting for peace book
This chapter examines how the theatre brought an international anti-fascist repertoire to Finland and how, in and around performances, the struggle for civil rights in Finland was located within the larger framework of an international struggle against fascism. It focuses on the performance of Elmer Rice’s drama Judgment Day in May 1935, considered to be the European premiere of the play. The chapter considers 1930s political theatre as an organic part of the political activism of the time, deploying political scientist Chantal Mouffe’s concept of ‘counter-hegemonic intervention’. The rise of the civil rights movement and the formation of the popular front in 1930s Finland can be seen as a reaction to the repressive legislation proposed and enforced by the government. The Finnish Union for Human Rights was founded in the autumn of 1935, thereby uniting liberal and socialist intellectuals and radical workers.