Transnational Spaces in Modern and Contemporary French Language Drama

(Panel)


French and Francophone / Comparative Literature

Aurelie Chatton (Kalamazoo College)

This panel is about how modern and contemporary French language drama stages transnational spaces and reflects on them through different techniques (representations through stories and performances ; stage techniques ; etc.). The goals of this panel are to explore these questions, as well as examine how contemporary Francophone theatre engage in a collective reflection about these spaces and, have an impact on individuals and societies by creating both artistic spaces for these “intersections of cultures, languages, and peoples” and an awareness of them.

Contemporary French language plays and performances portray the exchanges across political, linguistic and cultural borders, and the new spaces created along with them. By staging a reflection on these encounters and spaces, artists create the new imaginary needed by the community. It is necessary to conceive this new imaginary because it allows us to act. In so doing, theater practitioners take back the true place arts have had, since antiquity, in the political arena and still deserve today. With theater, the community (and the new world community made of each community) is able to represent as well as re-/imagine itself through this increasing interconnectedness. It allows audiences to think about their places in these new spaces and landscapes, and to take back social consciousness. These artists are often vocal outside of the theater, initiating actions in the public space at large – hence playing a similar role, but outside the theater this time, in shaping new conceptions of territory, identity, and in addressing the challenges of the new world community.

While answering to the collective need for new literatures and representations, this panel also echoes the theme of the 2019 Convention by reminding readers/audiences about the responsibility to recognize, understand (and create) new relations within transnational spaces. Artists, scholars and citizens all have a role to play here.

How does modern and contemporary French language drama stage transnational spaces? With theater, the community is able to represent as well as re-/imagine itself. How does the representation of these “intersections of cultures, languages, and peoples” participate in shaping new conceptions of territory, of identity, and in addressing the challenges of the new world community? How does contemporary French language theatre engage in a collective reflection about these spaces? Abstract in English or French.