Lisbon, 23-24-25 September 2019

School of Arts and Humanities, Universidade de Lisboa
Dona Maria II National Theatre 



Shared Memory(ies): creation, research and politics in the European contemporary stage.

The topic of memory relates to theatre and the performing arts precisely through their performative dimension. We see how it acts on the power of testimony, on the material dimensions of the real, on the non-segregation of the private sphere from the public sphere, on the prevalence of the process that connects artists and spectators in the meeting/confrontation of memories. We can speak of a theatre perceived as a palimpsest that lets you see how and what is written, erased and re-written in the body-memory of the actors, but also on the body of those present, who rework and reforge their memories in permanence.

In this II EASTAP Conference, we aim to promote discussion regarding the role of memory in contemporary theatre creation through three fundamental axes that are intertwined:

I. Memory in Theatre – The process of creation in its relation with the work of memory

  1. Shared memory of experiences and knowledge
  2. Theatre practice as testimony of (the) memory: text, body and annotation memory
  3. Memory and anthropology: observation, recording, storage and archive in the creative process
  4. Memory and political identity(ies)

II. Memory of Theatre – Research and the limits of memory

  1. Artistic practice as research: performativity of the memory and cognition
  2. Theatre between history and memory
  3. Makers, audience(s) and memory(ies) of the theatre: the discourses of the observer community, the spectators, the actors, the directors, the critics
  4. On memory as a territory under construction (texts, images, narratives)

III. The Theatre of Memory – The politics of memory in current societies and new theatre forms

  1. Identity, narrative(s) and memory sharing
  2. Memory and forgetfulness: the power(s) of theatre in the politics of memory
  3. Artificial and digital memory: artistic experimentation
  4. From “stock memory” to “flux memory”
  5. Memory and the irruption of the Real: from documentary theatre to the theatre of the Real

The conference theme aims, therefore, to bring together diverse (inter)disciplinary perspectives (arts and performance studies, visual studies, cognitive sciences, social sciences, literary studies, cultural history), as well as to invite artists, that will be announced very soon, whose creative practice does not separate the three axes mentioned above. Thus, artists and researchers will be on an equal footing while discussing the theme and can present their points of view through communications, performance-speeches, interviews or commented audiovisual records of their work.

The Associate Artist on this great occasion is Shermin Langhoff and the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin.


Maria João Brilhante

Centre for Theatre Studies, Universidade de Lisboa (mbrilhante@campus.ul.pt)


Tiago Rodrigues

Dona Maria II National Theatre (trodrigues@tndm.pt)