I haven't seen a drop, never mind a trickle
By Ruth Bergan , March 2015
Civil society organisations often work on issues which impact on the daily lives of a large number of people, but whose detail is highly complex and whose decision-making structures are far removed from most people’s experience. A prominent example of this are the negotiations around a major trade deal (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or ‘TTIP’). The deal will affect many aspects of daily life, from the food we eat and the environment, to how the healthcare system works. Despite this, there has been relatively little effort on the part of government to engage with the public.
Ruth Bergan's report aims to make a contribution to debates within civil society around power and equality. It uses a case study of TTIP to examine how theatre can be used as a tool to facilitate engagement in macroeconomic issues of communities without specialist expertise.
The report begins by suggesting some of the reasons why this might be considered both necessary and desirable; it then outlines the key debates around theatre as an instrument of political engagement as well as some of the challenges to both civil society and theatre organisations in embarking upon this kind of work. Finally, it describes the process that was undertaken to develop a pilot of a show about TTIP, and attempts to identify lessons and conclusions from it.
Read I haven’t seen a drop, never mind a trickle: Using theatre to engage communities in complex macroeconomic processes, a case study of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.