May 2017

MAY 2017 – Issue no.1 


  1. Impressions from Muktadhara 2016
  2. A look at other groups using TO/Arts for Social Change – Ralph Yarrow, University of East Anglia, UK
  3. Reflection space: Problems to be faced: Call for common global TO action – Sanjoy Ganguly, Jana Sanskriti, India
  4. Reflection space: TO and its impact in a broader political/social theatre landscape – Joschka Köck, practitioner at TdU Wien, Austria
  5. Movement news: Refusal as Solidarity: Tamar Alon released from the Israeli army after 130 days in prison –  Kelly Howe, Loyola University, USA

Dear community of the Theatre of the Oppressed and all those interested in the JSIRRI project,

We want to welcome you to our new newsletter which has the objective of connecting the global TO community and others working in similar fields, through a quarterly short newsletter.

Jana Sanskriti has in the last years tried to give the global TO community a home in which it can flourish and with JSIRRI to give it a global platform to connect with each other. This newsletter extends that effort.

After the last Muktadhara festival of Jana Sanskriti in December 2016, we formed a small team to edit this newsletter. It consists of Pratyusha Ghosh (Jana Sanskriti, India), Kelly Howe (USA), Ralph Yarrow (University of East Anglia, UK) and Joschka Köck (TdU Wien, Austria).

The idea is that all of you who receive this newsletter can contribute to it: be it as contributors of texts, news (such as festivals, workshops etc.), reflections, presentations of TO groups (or other applied theatre practitioners/movements/companies), archive material, political statements/calls for actions or new methodologies of theatre you have developed etc. (that are roughly 1 to 2 pages long); be it as translators who undertake to translate this letter into other global languages so that it can reach more people; be it through forwarding it to friends of your own TO network; be it through giving active feedback to us as the editing team. Of course you are also very welcome to join our small team. In any case please write a message to

In this first issue, Ralph Yarrow presents some theatre groups from South Africa which are not TO companies by name but who also engage in a Freirianic way of building functional political literacy among participants. Also he has written a short update on the Muktadhara festival 2016. Kelly Howe has written a summary of the events around Tamar Alon‘s brave struggle not to become a soldier in the Israeli army. Sanjoy Ganguly reflects how a spiritual activism with its sense of one-ness (as opposed to binaric capitalist thinking) can lead us to a nature-centric humanistic perception. He therefore invites us as the global TO community to be united under a common political struggle. Joschka Köck is posing some of his recent thoughts on the TO as a theatre movement and is trying to stimulate a discussion about whether we as TO practitioners care enough about aesthetic value (and in fact if TO is the only valid activist-political theatre form).

Lastly we want to welcome all your questions and opinions about JSIRRI and Jana Sanskriti as a whole. We are particularly interested in any proposals for collaboration, skills exchange, research projects etc.

The next newsletter is planned to come out at the end of July 2017. Send contributions (of all kinds, s.a.) by 15 July to

With love and solidarity from three continents

your JSIRRI newsletter editing team

Kelly, Pratyusha, Ralph and Joschka

PS: If you wonder, what is JSIRRI and what it is actually for and you have never really taken the time to think about what it could be, don‘t hesitate and visit our website at:


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