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Sunday, June 16 • 9:00am - 10:30am
The Hunter-Gatherer and the Farmer: A Forum Theatre Exercise LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: A forum theatre exercise: An early hunter-gatherer reaches for an apple that, unbeknownst to her, was grown by a farmer, who perceives it as his property.  Who is oppressing whom? 

Abstract: For well over 95% of our history as a species, we were hunter-gatherers with very little conception of property. Then came agriculture and those who labored on the land felt entitled to the fruits of that labor. In this forum theatre exercise, an early hunter-gatherer reaches for an apple he doesn’t realize was grown by a farmer who perceives it as his property. The farmer objects and with his “No,” the seeds of capitalism enter the stage of world history.  We will re-enact this world-forming scene, perhaps the most important interaction in the history of our species, as a forum-theatre exercise.  We'll explore many questions, amongst them:

1. The two characters are competing for a scarce resource: the apple. If one gets it, s/he wins, and the other does not, and loses. What possibilities are there for win-win, non-oppressive solutions to the dilemma? How could we use TO to develop those resolutions collectively and collaboratively?
2. Often in forum theatre exercises, it’s clear who the oppressor and oppressed are. But perhaps the question of who the oppressor is in this case is the central and abiding question of our world, even today: is the farmer oppressing the hunter-gatherer by withholding the apple, or is the hunter-gatherer oppressing the farmer by taking what is rightfully his? Is the farmer a proto-bourgeoisie exploiting the pro-proletarian hunter-gatherer by denying him the means of his sustenance, enclosing the commons of the pre-agricultural world or is the hunter-gatherer the proto-bourgeoisie exploiting the proto-proletarian farmer, denying him compensation for his labor?
3.    Generally, how can we use TO to explore situations in which the question "Who is the oppressor here?" is on the table? 

Challenging Questions
1. How can we use TO to explore situations in which the question "Who is the oppressor here?" is on the table?
2. How can TO help us resolve situations of competition and scarcity?
3. How do we most effectively guide TO participants to develop their own solutions to scenes of oppression? 


Ken Burak

Professor of Philosophy, Northampton Community College
I have been teaching Philosophy from a liberatory and social justice perspective for over twenty years and my work has been heavily influenced, in content and form, by the traditions of Friere and Boal.  My PhD dissertation title was "Logic and Resistance: Reading Hegel in the Age... Read More →

Sunday June 16, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am MDT
Great Plains 006a/b (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA