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How is Western-Influenced Contemporary Performance Practice in Dialogue with Fifth Wave Feminism?

Mulvey, Shannon (2018) How is Western-Influenced Contemporary Performance Practice in Dialogue with Fifth Wave Feminism? Master of Arts by Research (MARes) thesis, University of Kent,.


In response to a number of political demonstrations, for example the Women's March (2017), Sophie Walker leader of the Women's Equality Party released a statement detailing the launch of a fifth wave of feminism. This dissertation explores the ways in which fifth wave feminism and performance practice are intrinsically linked, through the usage of

performance as a medium to instigate live encounters and embodied actions.

The recent rise in attendance at political protests can be traced back to the use of online platforms such as social media being galvanised to provide mass exposure for feminist activist actions. However, this study highlights the importance of transcending the online world in order to activate embodied engagement in the live space and therefore actualise the intentions of fifth wave feminism. Through an analysis of fifth wave feminism in chapter one, this research looks at the aims of the movement and illustrates its development through a construction process as a result of contemporary socio-political feminist discourse, as well as events such as the aforementioned political action.

The emphasis upon the process of creating fifth wave feminism illuminated in this study, demonstrates parallels with the creation processes used in performance-making. Thus the intention of this dissertation is to explore the process of developing the movement, as well as the dialogical relationship between fifth wave feminism, activism and contemporary feminist performance practice. Performance practice has been used as a methodology for discovering feminism throughout history, for example during the Suffragettes movement and throughout the Women's Liberation movement, whether it was through the art itself or as a political protest. Through case study examinations of three feminist performance events and an analysis of a practical investigation, The Anarchist Feminist Party (2018), this dissertation argues that performance is being used as a medium to initiate live encounters whilst also using the tools of our feminist predecessors to build upon their momentum.

The discussion considers intersectionality, diversity and inclusivity as primary concerns for fifth wave feminism and looks at the ways in which practitioners are actioning these concerns and how we can further effectuate these considerations within the movement.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Arts by Research (MARes))
Thesis advisor: Mitchell, Roanna
Thesis advisor: Shaughnessy, Nicola
Uncontrolled keywords: feminism, fifth wave feminism, performance
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2019 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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