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Eschatological Field Notes: Community Theatre, AIDS, and the Fate of Informant D. in Ilemera, Tanzania.

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  • Ola Johansson
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Nordic Theatre Studies
Issue number19
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The article describes the multiple, interdisciplinary approaches of my research on community theatre against AIDS in Tanzania. Besides qualitative methods such as performance analysis, focus group discussions, and interviews, quantitative information such as statistics and other modes of epidemiological data collection are taken into consideration. The focus is on a community centre in Ilemera village and its informants for my research project. The article is based on an analysis of a performance in the village and group interviews with the members of the community centre. Policy issues on condom use, religious dogmas, anti-retroviral therapy, prostitution, and free speech are analysed. Several discursive discrepancies are detected in interviews, except with one member (called �D.� in confidence) of the Ilemera community centre, who speaks out about issues even in defiance of her moral and financial benefactor (a Christian branch) in a �backstage performance� that I consider as valuable as the community performance in pursuit of the epidemiological and social reality in Ilemera. This article, as well as the three previous ones, build on presentations from conferences and seminars I have been invited to in Europe, America, and Africa.