The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy Paperback – 15 Dec 1994
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Rainbow of Desire is a handbook of exercises with a difference. It is Augusto Boal's bold and brilliant statement about the therapeutic ability of theatre to liberate individuals and change lives. Now translated into English and comprehensively updated from the French, Rainbow of Desire sets out the techniques which help us see' for the first time the oppressions we have internalised. Boal, a Brazilian theatre director, writer and politician, has been confronting oppression in various forms for over thirty years. His belief that theatre is a means to create the future has inspired hundreds of groups all over the world to use his techniques in a multitude of settings. This, his latest work, includes such exercises as: * The Cops in the Head and their anti-bodies * The screen image * The image of the future we are afraid of * Image and counter-image ...and many more. Rainbow of Desire will make fascinating reading for those already familiar with Boal's work and is also completely accessible to anyone new to Theatre of the Oppressed techniques.
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Yet this is a challenge not only to theatre to raise its vision, it is also a challenge to the entire discipline of bourgeois psychology. First, Boal observed that most poor people -- the dominant population on Earth -- could in no way afford $200, or $100, or $50, or even $10 a week to "talk it out". Nor could they afford or likely even manage the growing and complex pharmacological approaches to human mental health. What was possible was communities coming together to help each other in this decidedly non-professional, community-based activity that Boal called therapeutic but not therapy.
Second, Boal always saw his work in a wide social context. He was not interested in seeing people run out of the burning building of oppression, be hosed off by a therapist, and then thrown back in the burning building. Boal always said his work, including Rainbow, was a way of transforming oppression out of the entire world. As his company -- CTO Rio -- uses as a slogan: "To end oppression everywhere." Boal's goal was no less than this.
Rainbow of Desire is Boal's description of the tools. Once the community or individual Jokers understand the basics -- which again can be helped by taking part in a Rainbow workshop, people go away with tools in their heads and hands that can be extraordinarily liberating for communities and individuals alike.