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Updated: Sep 28, 2021

M A N I F E S T O ​

Performative Education is an epistemic project that consists in building and nurturing a new concept capable of individualizing the specific contribution of theater and performance to General Education and of defining its autonomous space within Artistic Education, alongside of the Visual, Plastic and Audiovisual Education, and within the Performing Arts, next to the Choreutic and Musical Education. On the European scene, theater and performance are the only art that is not represented in the compulsory public curriculum, with the exception of the city of Hamburg in Germany. Even in the fabulous Scandinavian pedagogical contexts, theater is the prerogative of auxiliary programs ultimately dependent on private funds.

We investigate and fight to build the theoretical foundations and the necessary evidence so that one day Performative Education will have its own space as a compulsory subject in European public curricula. The initiative aims to promote the presence of theater and performance as pedagogical practices and as methodologies for creative bodily learning, situated knowledge and decolonial exercise within general education. In dialogue with public institutions and with general and artistic education professionals, we design intervention programs in compulsory general education and teacher training in Performative Education, to expand access to theater pedagogy and democratic participation in its creative tools. We seek to promote the interaction of the theater with the school, understanding the school context not as a place of exhibition or audience development, but as a laboratory for the co-creation of knowledge and art through performance. We consider that the pedagogical turn in the performative arts has an interest

We also defend the symbolic and concrete space of the theater -traditionally invisible or marginalized- within the movement of vindication of art and education, in alliance with all the arts. We want to clarify that the theater has a methodological autonomy within the performing arts and respect for the visual arts and within the performing arts. Therefore, we vindicate the need for educational institutions to implement theater programs led or co-led by professionals who have specific training in both pedagogy and theater research, without detriment - but quite the opposite - of the performing arts. In addition, we propose the need to build a regulated academic path in theater pedagogy as a prerequisite for access to the teaching of both specialty subjects within the Performing Arts Baccalaureate, currently taught by literature teachers.

We are interested in theater as a tool for developing other forms of knowing, affective, active, and criticism based on the body. We contrast the dominant pedagogical vision of theater as a mere instrument to improve public speaking, the ability to speak in public or as entertainment. We believe that it responds to a reductive and instrumental mentality about art, which puts the mind above the body and the word above experience. This mentality is the same responsible for the progressive exclusion of the arts from the compulsory system and it supports the current tendency of the educational system to discriminate between series A subjects, those that develop cognitive / calculation / verbal skills, and series subjects B- who develop creative/socio-affective capacities. This type of epistemic and pedagogical discrimination reproduces the mechanism of reification of bodily knowledge that traditionally belongs to minorities as marginated and of knowledge related to nature as "resource", which informs the value system of the current colonial and extractivist culture.

By recognizing theater as a form of bodily and creative thinking in action, an unmatched methodological basis is opened in order to design learning devices that promote decolonization and the construction of more sensitive, complex and creative attitudes towards society as a whole and the environment. We want to redefine the pedagogical value of theater to expand access to a powerful tool when integrating the body as a subject of fair and creative knowledge in education, and as a reliable response to the instance of eco-social innovation of the present culture starting with education.

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