Integration of Culture, Culture as Integration: The Praxis and Politics of Multicultural Theatre and Drama

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Abstract

Theatre is one of the artistic tools most often employed in Sweden to promote social integration. The aim of this article is to illustrate recurrent paradoxes concerning representation in multicultural theatre projects in the Swedish context. The productions discussed were studied ethnographically over an extended period of time, 2002 to 2007, with additional interviews undertaken in 2008–10 and 2016. The first production is a community theatre production. It was performed in a suburb of the university town of Uppsala with the explicit purpose of preventing teenage boys from falling into a criminal lifestyle. The second is a multiculturally inspired version of Hamlet (Mohamlet), produced by the Malmö city theatre, the major theatre ensemble in southern Sweden. Both productions are characterized by unresolved tensions. In particular, dialogue and representation express an intrinsic valuation of them as artistic acts while decisions about funding and production are based on notions of instrumental usefulness. Thus, even if theatre productions manifest expressive power, these manifestations are assessed in terms of their potential value relative

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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Original languageSwedish
Article number2
JournalApplied Theatre Research
Volume4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes