Implicated theatre has been working together since October 2011 in a series of intensive theatre workshops, performances and research at the Centre for Possible Studies. Instigated through a collaboration with artists from and working with theatre director Frances Rifkin, the experimental workshops explore the relationships between political speech and action, the self and the collective, voice and silence. The group involved in the project has come together through the close working relationship of the Centre for Possible Studies and the Migrants Resource Centre.

The workshops are based in the praxis of the Brazilian director Augusto Boal (1931-2009). Boal’s conception of the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ explicitly challenges the divisions between active and passive states or subjects in theatre. In his work, Boal argues for a theatre in which we are all spect-actors – spectators and actors who shape and reflect on the world around us. Influenced by thinkers such as Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx and the pedagogue Paolo Freire, Boal travelled internationally to explore the situation of the oprimido – the oppressed – a term which, Boal stresses, should not refer to the condition of being defeated, being victims, but of a struggle against oppression. At the Centre for Possible Studies, these workshops have led to the development of a theatre collective, titled ‘Implicated Theatre’, as well as a growing archive of writing, still and moving images, and performances in community spaces such as the Migrants Resource Centre. Implicated Theatre have collectively created an ethical stage – a shared space to explore the ghosts of migration, history and politics. Initially focusing on the personal, Implicated Theatre has developed relationships and techniques that support investigations into the everyday conflicts and grand historical narratives that shape its participants’ lives.

The role of the voice is a central theme to our work. Voice exists in an in-between space; neither located purely in the body, the social or the political. It is constantly in motion, resonating through, from and past us. What happens when we try to take ownership of our own voices? Where are we when we are in silence? What does it mean to ‘speak out’? As the logic of capital increasingly governs our lives, how can we imagine and create a space which challenges the profit-driven motives of the neo-liberal discourses we inhabit and perpetuate? We are implicated, and so are you.