The Aesthetics of the Oppressed is the theoretical and practical basis of the Theatre of the Oppressed. It is a set of creative activities that aim at dismantling the oppressive system’s castrating strategies of influencing and convincing the oppressed that they are incapable of creating, participating and deciding. The Aesthetics of the Oppressed is a means of fighting against the aesthetic invasion of the brains, against the domination of ideas and perceptions and the authoritarian imposition of pre-established conceptions of the beautiful, the right and the desirable. The Aesthetics of the Oppressed is an exercise of freedom that goes against the passive consumption and stimulates the creative and critical production of culture and knowledge.

This work attempts to develop the group members‘ own aesthetic perception so that the power of the stories told, the force of this dramaturgy inherent in life can have a plastic (and political) representation with which they identify and in which they recognize themselves.

The use of locally available resources; the search for solutions that simplify the change of the characters‘ costumes; the assembling and dismantling of settings and the transition from one scene to another; and the creation of representations that compressing time and space, without unnecessary details and with minimal changes of environment; are fundamental ingredients in working with community groups, which challenging us with limitations of resources, experience and time availability.

The more powerful the image that represents a certain reality being, the greater the effectiveness of its communication and encouragement of the spectators‘ interventions.

The Aesthetics of the Oppressed is not the art of decoration. It is the art of expression. Its objective should be the aesthetic communication of the perception the group has of their own reality.

Workshops Details:
Aesthetics of the Oppressed – Image 18 – 20 May (friday 17h/22h; saturday 10h/18h; sunday 10h/17h) 180 EUR
Aesthetics of the Oppressed – Set design for Community Theatre 24 -26 May (thursday and friday 17h/22h; saturday 10h/18h) 150 EUR – Registration:

Bárbara Santos is artistic director of Kuringa-Berlin.

Cachalote Mattos is a set designer of Centre of Theatre of the Oppressed (Rio de Janeiro), where he gave crucial contribution for the development of the Aesthetics of the Oppressed in Brazil, Mozambique, Senegal and Guinea Bissau. He has a lot of experience working for TV, Movies and several Theatre productions. His work earned several important prizes in Brazil.

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