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Participants respond to Teatro Foro


1.- Olvera-Hernández S., Martin-Ortega J., Novo P.,  Walsh A.,  Mesa-Jurado A., Holmes G., and Borchi A. (6-8 Noviembre 2019). Performing fundamental values as an emancipatory mechanism to fostering inclusive participation in environmental governanceUrgent Transformations and Earth System Governance: Towards Sustainability and Justice Conference, Oaxaca Mexico.



Inclusive participation in decision-making has been a constant challenge on environmental governance in rural communities in the Global South, reflecting power structures that exclude people on the basis of the intersection of economic status, ethnicity, education level, age and gender. Environmental governance and how it plays out in practice is fundamentally determined by the value frames, emotions and relationships of those involved. However, value judgements of those most affected by environmental decisions are rarely shared and discussed. For decision-making to be genuinely inclusive it is necessary that those who are usually excluded are able to express and make visible their values. Only in this way, decisions regarding the natural resources on which they critically depend can reflect their worldviews.

To address this challenge, new approaches that enable those in the lowest positions of power to reflect, share and make their values visible are needed. Art-based methods, and more specifically performance-based methods, provide alternative means of communicating and sharing which can be particularly relevant in the context of marginalized communities. A critical performance enables people to identify issues, bring hidden narratives to consciousness and activate different solutions or responses. This allows the implementation of reflexivity or meta-reflections to create debates about the distribution of power in environmental policy and cultivate shared values frames, emotions and affects. In this paper, we present the preliminary results of applying one of such performance-based techniques, Forum Theatre, in two rural communities in Chiapas (Mexico). By activating and cultivating reflexivity, Forum Theatre can act as an emancipatory mechanism that ultimately has the capacity to foster inclusive participation and induce broader social transformations for more sustainable, effective and just natural resource management.

For further information contact Silvia Olvera-Hernández, at



Valuing trans-disciplinarity: Forum Theatre in Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico.

Year: 2022

Authors:  Walsh, A., Olvera-Hernandez, S., Mesa-Jurado, M. A., Borchi, A., Novo, P., Martin-Ortega, J., & Holmes, G.

Journal:  Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 1-19.


This article intervenes in the persistent hierarchy of epistemological worth that produces scientific knowledge as meaningful, and knowledge from arts or humanities as marginal, or illustrative. The specific trans-disciplinary project we discuss brings together environmental social sciences with performance-based Forum Theatre methods to explore ‘value’ as understood in communities in Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico in relation to Payment for Ecosystem Services. Trans-disciplinary collaborations that seek to incorporate ‘novel’ methods to engage participants differently might better reflect the dynamic, emergent, and often shifting nature of beliefs, attitudes and values.