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Theater of the Techno-Oppressed

Theater of the Techno-Oppressed is an outreach activity offered to UTFPR’s local community. The activity aims at raising critical consciousness about the role of technology in our everyday life, in particular, the way it constrains our bodies to certain physical and/or political postures that accepts oppression as an inevitable deed.

There is nothing inherently good in technology, despite all the hype and hope around it. Often in human history, technology is used to intensify oppressions such as xenophobia, sexism, and racism. Social movements, activist groups, and oppressed people need to be aware of how technology does that and, especially, how it uncovers that under the pretext of neutrality.

The Theater of the Techno-Oppressed is an addition to the Theater of the Oppressed arsenal developed by Augusto Boal in the 1970s to fight oppression in Latin America and other parts of the world. It is informed by Science, Technology, and Society (STS) studies and instrumentalized by some practices from Embodied Interaction Design. The concept of techno-oppression points to the role of technology in mediating oppression relations between privileged and disenfranchised social groups.

The participants of this activity use theater techniques to identify, analyze, discuss, and elaborate reactions to oppressive interactions they have while using a certain kind of technology. These activities help them to see themselves not just as users, but as producers of technology. This shift is essential for putting liberation on the political agenda of technology development.

The following scenes were constructed based on the stories the participants shared about the technology-mediated oppression they felt in their daily lives.

Categories: Outreach.

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