A study of resistance theater concept & its attribute toward political theater & the concept of sacrifice in the playing works of world
Sacrifice of all sacrifice heroes is neither originated from simplicity nor stupidity & policy. They are not silly, weak or deceived humans. Their act is based on knowledge & their war of life analyzed & arisen by all sense & sensation they have earned in their lifetime. It is important to mention that since there were several extreme & fascist attitudes in the 20th century which deceived millions of people through variety of advertisement & promises, promising thousands of angel cities & privileges in order to haunt the world & expand the scope of their victories, all were untrue and lack of value. We will have a detailed discussion about the correlation of Resistance Theater & political theater in this article and then we will pay to sacrifice concept in the world playing works.
Resistance theater issue is not newly discussed, though it is completely new to make a visionary discussion about it. At first, it is needed to mention that political theater is different from Resistance Theater including promotional difference.
Political theater describes critically & challengingly the correlation of educated, complainant & conscious with society & government ruling him/her, explaining its relevance, presenting obviously its critical reasons toward the political irregularities & inequalities of the society, criticizing them in a progressive vision while there is no relation between educated or complainant people with government in the resistance theater. It does not look critically into social values but this theater is concerned with the relation between entire societies with the power threatening it from outside. So these two issues are basically different from each other & should not be known them as one. In general, themes of political theater are as below:
1. Conflicts in the society or struggle mongering
In any society, different ranks claim for their demands based on their own purposes, programs & political descriptions, provoking their own challenges, fighting with each other, expressing their ideas in all fields including playing works, in which workers & medium rank' demands are the most important.
2. Attempting to gain social justice
An artist focuses on entire deficiencies existed in the way of gaining social, individual rights. She/he fights for achieving some kind of justice not equality because there occurs no equality in the world but it is possible to fairly share the facilities. Because there is no society in which some people do not endeavors or fights to meet this concept. Thus, analytical-critical relationship with entire cultural, economical & social values of the government & critics on their policies is one of permanent & serious issues in the political theater because emphasizing on social inequities, deviances & corruptions are considered as one of the most important purposes in outstanding arts in all periods. There is no works away from this policy. Even those who are silence, their silence implies on confirmation because any lack of position or silence approves for implied agreement & harmony.
3. Praising for freedom
One of the other hidden values into the political theater is considered as appraisal of human generosity & defending individuality. I do not know a society never fought for freedom because any development in culture, thought, ethic & growth of human lies only under growth & efflorescence of freedom.
4. New ideality
One of the other functions of political theater is to focus on all old structures, definitions or powers, missed their flexibility & conformity with modern world and no longer applicable because an important responsibility for this theater is to endeavor & progress for well-conformity with modern world & trying to achieve a better & premier life. From other permanent themes of this theater is considered to fight against bureaucracy as prolonged units have fallen in their lives instead of servicing them, only disabling effective forces, swallowing all budgets, no power to construct. Therefore, political theater is a critical, complaining & informed theater obviously involves in any affair to change the realities. Consequently it trains thought & analysis, analyzing the relationship between human with society & government ruling them in all levels.
If political theater aims to correct the internal affair of a society & reach to a more social, political, cultural, moral & humanized government, Resistance Theater tries to preserve this society instead of criticizing. Because if we lean on though segregation & ranking separation in political theater
All world resistance theaters would lean on unity & integrity. Because we are not talking about interior conflicts but it is about an external war. Thus, if political theater is an internal issue & in other words a family disagreement, resistance theater instead always talks about the entity of society, culture & government assaulted from outside. Mass of people & respective governmental & martial organizations tries to resist against this attack, making them unable to ruin all economically, culturally, politically & moral established during centuries. Therefore, the biggest purpose of Resistance Theater is to assemble more people & harmonize them. Resistance Theater leans on proficient forces to stop possible risk as soon as possible. Multi-themes of Resistance Theater are as below:
1. War disclosure
The content of Resistance Theater is to oppose to war indicating its odium more than anything. I need to explain that war has only two descriptions or cases:
1- Defending war as a fair war. There is no country never appraised it throughout the world in whole history. It is a legal, humanized & big right for assaulted to assemble all human, economical, cultural & political forces in order to defend its values.
2- Aggressive war: A country attacks to another country or people with an apparently logical justification, of course finding for best justifications to persuade its people in order to make its war legal in publicity manner. These justifications & publicities were permanently more horrible than war itself.
Aggressive war is not approved by any country or culture unlike defending war unless the aggressor country. Only Nazis defended their idea in the Second World War. When Soviet Union attacked to Hungary & Czechoslovakia, only eastern bloc defended the attack. America attacked with army corps to Vietnam, world accused them. Therefore, no one can defend aggressive wars. Even for what they pay for it, the outcome of aggressors is nothing but failure & shame as shown by history. Instead, the assaulted country defends itself all the way, simultaneously breaking the logic of aggressor country through this with its power. Thus, the most important thing to emphasize for Resistance Theater is to fight against aggressor & occupier.
2. Fighting against colonialism
Fighting against colonialism is one of the other concepts considered as functional & exemplary, taking a superior position in the 20th century in the history of human thought & culture.
From the most important parts of Resistance Theater are those works written by their people to defend imperialized people, rushing toward imperialist from culture, art & playing angle. Nowadays, as imperialism has not been remained in its old form, shaping a modern form but there are some attempts in the theater indicating the same spirit, policy & values. Drama writers still write against Africa colonialism in the world. In addition to "Ame Se Zar" as a permanent sample & superior pattern in Africa resistance theater, there is "Lora Jones" who has written several plays about white racism against America blacks, defending race & rights of social merits of this class in America. The next sample of Resistance Theater belongs to Mexican groups resident in America called "Chicano". They are low-classified citizens living illegally in America, being deprived of the rights of work, residence, marriage & so on. They are all from main Indians resident into Mexico, immigrated to North America due to poverty & unemployment.
Some of the other attractive samples are those works written by Arabic intellectuals & artists against France & English imperialism. "Kateb yasin" Algerian writer with "Mohammad: take your suitcase" play & some other outstanding works is only one of them. There are some other writers originally not from Asia or Africa, but they have disclosed the aggressive nature of imperialistic countries. One of them written some anti-imperialistic works is "Peter Wise" a German-origin Swedish playwright condemns America interference in Vietnam with "V as Vietnam" play or disclosing & dishonoring 500-yrs imperialism of Portugal in Mozambique & Angola with "Portuguese scarecrow song" play. Kateb Yasin has written "a man in caoutchouc sandals" play that is the biography of Hooshi Min & 50-year fight of Vietnamese against America inspired by historical situation of his country. There is some other European intellectual about creating anti-imperialistic plays as awakened conscience of the human, writers as French "Arman Gati" wrote "Storks" to condemn America unfair act in Japan after atom-bombarding on Hiroshima & Nagasaki and several other works about China & Guatemala. All above works are to defend the general entity of culture, thought, economy, identity & humane of an oppressed people.
Therefore, Resistance Theater is a theater receiving no division, searching for unified spirit, trying to describe the considerable values being assaulted. It both emphasizes on the beautiful & human aspects of the oppressed nation and talk about its legitimacy.
3. Training the mass of people
One of the most important concepts of such theater is to train the mass of people who are not truly aware of past 8 in the war. In all previous examples, the playwright leans on entity, history, culture & the race of oppressed country to oppose to big & strange enemy; in order to achieve to unity & collective factor. The training that is offered here is not just official and governmental training rather it is national training and mainly within framework of values, traditions or historical and people based celebrations will create tangible and comprehensive ground for describing great historical events. Here small life of scattered characters and trivial persons is not important. If they pay attention to small life and write about it surely it is at level of Case Study and is for reaching to national problem and great contradiction. Thus training is not small issue. Transferring information in sincere mode in order to illuminate public opinion and awareness of people who are unaware of realities is among one of the most goals of Resistance Theater. As an example we can mention Russia. In the year 1920 during third anniversary of great revolution of 1917 performed show of winter palace with 100,000 actors that director of this show were 3 persons including: Orinof, Kogel & Petrof. Some part of Red Army was actor of this show. Recreation of this great historical show unexpectedly affected mass of audiences. People themselves performed this show for the sake of people to be more familiar with the events of their past history. In this performance the difference was among present time and past time, on the other hand there was not difference between actor and audience and also between scene and hall, rather here theater is equal as history.
Another sample is France. Again in the year 1920 and on anniversary of great revolution of France, a genius director named Freeman Jemiyeh that is among greatest directors and theorists of people based theater, created the greatest theater for educating values of great revolution of France. Jemiyeh that by depending on tradition of people-historical celebrations of France had already performed excellent shows in great amphitheater and great circus, on anniversary of revolution that was simultaneous with end of First World War and victory of France, these 2 great events were occurred simultaneously and created great innovation for training people. The goal of Jemiyeh for performing this show was not just training, remembrance or a great demonstration rather his goal was showing public will and indisputable power of mass of people during most important times of history.
Because of some similarities, some people mistakenly regard this kind of theater as political theater or Resistance Theater, rather this theater is different from these 2 concepts.
In one sentence we can say that advertising theater is a bad theater since its goal, contents & esthetics will educated people who are slave of power. This kind of theater without any discussion will deceive its addressees since they hate from Ideology without trying to understand that ideology for their addressees.
Experiences have proved that in each country that advertising theater will be exaggeratedly followed up it will have inverted result and people will hate from this kind of show. Since this kind of theater will be satisfy audience and don’t care about their character and thought and this kind of theater instead insisting on understanding of audience will insist on temporary excite and hallucination of audience. Thus wherever this method was used it was ended to defeat in long term. Consequently advertising theater has always been very short since audience will soon understand that the goals of this theater advertising art and there is not any artistic creativity and awareness in it. Generally people or group who benefits from something will always seek to achieve benefit of that work. It is obvious that this kind of benefit is not suitable for different classes of people and nation since it is not basically intended to increase their level of thought and recognition. This kind of theater by hiding realities will astray minds and it will be regarded as temporary tranquilizer which will prevent from great pain or show that expediency orders that addressee will be indifferent or will be deceived.
From all aforesaid issues we can conclude that these 3 kinds of theater shall be classified and each of them shall be used and recognized separately. Anyway if we can link political-critic Theater with Resistance Theater (that is very difficult work) we can create the best innovation and creativity in the field of social and national theater. This kind of theater is complaining and aware simultaneously and will train audience, besides it is aware and is able to intervene in good and bad events of world and is able to change reality. Meanwhile works that will only excite audience and will make them emotional, will not working important thing. The principle is thought, analysis and recognition. In this way we shall pay attention to the following points:
1- Time Interval:
Most of works that are created in the field of Resistance Theater for defending from their rightfulness are categorized in two groups:
1- First class are works that are created at a special time like shows that were created during 8 years war of Iran & Iraq. Such works were created with the goal of exciting youth, exciting morale of courage, filling free times of fighters in battlefield prompt mobilization of forces and achieving victory since battlefields shall not left empty. Thus issues like devotion will be raised. The prominent tone of speech is emotional and excite. Satisfaction is urgent and nearly no analysis is conducted.
2- Second class is works that are created with time interval. The best works about war or a great crisis will be written very long time after that event. During this moment maybe prompt excitement and emotion will prevent human from understanding different aspects of issue or may not be able to analyze and remember positive and negative points. Having analytical, prominent and realistic image from World War II will gradually create analytical trainings and exact points in relation to war. No great work was created. Thus it is expected that not any best work will be created about war of Iran & Iraq since we have not understand this great event. Still that open minded analysis that will be useful for next generations and selecting methods of life are not written. Even during years of war in spite of financial-intellectual facilities(by apologizing from all persons who attempted hard in the field of film, theater & story) up to now not any first class work is not created in the field of devotion of youth that will be far from excitement tone of speech and analysis.
2- Methods of Execution:
The important point that in political theater and Resistance Theater is dealt very low is executive method. By using any executive method we can not perform political theater or Resistance Theater. This kind of show needs special kind of style that shall first remove hallucination of audience. In anti-hallucination method of these shows, the tone of speech is Addressing and usually there is not any space between scene and hall rather there is direct relation between them.
The highest sample of this style is advertising-excitement technique. In this style opponent groups will perform fast with minimum facilities in public places like street, factory and university and before reaching police or persons intending to bother them, will and prevent from their performance they leave that place. Thus in this excitement, political and instable mode of show, details of work or psychological factors can not be observed. Consequently showman of programs shall directly enter into discussion. There is not introduction and detail, only central points will be deal with. Also in this method for having more effective influence on audience only the art of actor is not used, rather film, picture, newspaper, music and dolls are being used. Bread & Doll that was a street theater directed by Peter Showman group with the goal of complaining against intervention of America in affairs of Vietnam that by using great will declare their complain to Uncle Sam, Political & Economical Leaders of America. By using this innovation he made street theater as lively show.
Another sample is Russia. Russia during war with Germany was in condition that by having more than 20 million dead persons was in ever-growing pressure and blockade and even they opened final screw of their factories and transferred it back lines of battlefields. Under such arduous condition, even people did not have bread to eat and were deprived from any paper, newspaper, phone of other tool for communication. Exactly under such condition the art of show was raised and artists in this field executed Live Newspaper for maintaining communication. Here actors were performing a famous show called as Live Newspaper everyday. Thus Resistance Theater is not founded for first time. Other countries based on necessity and in turning point of their history dependant upon this art for saying their courage, rightfulness, complain, honors, defending from country, defending from freedom, human respect, unity of human and defend from true rights of human and based on their interest some decisive, excitement and strict methods entered into framework of theater and by doing this not only they served their society, increased national resistance but also they honorably defend from values and constructive power of human.
Concept of Devotion in Dramatic Works of World:
Theorists have always used from theories of Narration and Tradition for establishing and necessity for creation of art of showing in human society. They regard narration as first root for communication of human and call is as Epic since its nature is transferring Knowledge and Experience from one person to another person and from one generation to another generation and believe that result of this process is increasing awareness, knowledge and power of human for having better dominance on surround world. But their interpretation from issue of Tradition is different since they believe that traditions and ceremonies are regarded as Myth i.e. story or event that has got divine or beyond natural root. Theorists believe that tradition is used for unity of nature and respecting to beyond nature. All traditions of world have got a saint thing inside of them that is regarded as best and eternal pattern for all humans and all periods. It is Saint Victim that for sake of destruction of itself will defend from right, goodness and positive values exactly when all values of human are eradicating. Thus this Saint Victim by bounding to principles and values will keep their Holiness and remember their rightfulness. Consequently it will prevent from diversion of society in order to guarantee values. Thus saint martyr the thinking and behavioral pattern is ancient in all societies and because of its presence it will keep from positive values and continuous values of society in every period. So its performance and status has got fundamental role for arranging and strengthening relations among persons and unity of society.
Another point that shall be explained here is concept of Devotion. Devotion here is not meant as donating some part of your asset rather it means donating fundamental section of your life, either body or soul. Thus devotion means withdraw from natural, fundamental, primitive right for sake of other people without having any expectation from another persons i.e. devotion is not bilateral contract and transaction. From this point of view there is magnificence in term of Devotion that everyone praises it. It is true that the result of this great unilateral donation and that you do not have any expectation for receiving money or recompense all of the inner, belief and humanistic needs of human will be met. In dramatic arts issues like forgive and devotion for sake of other people as effective and interesting theme has always been under attention of drama writers of world and many writers have created beautiful works in this field. After short study of these plays we can classify these plays in 6 section based on their theme that includes:
1- Lovely Devotion:
Here we talk about personal love and loving other people. Ouripid Greek classic drama writer in 5 B.C. against all of his anti-woman beliefs by writing Alst play talked about lovely devotion of a woman named Alst that during sudden death of his spouse Admet for sake of saving his life will accept to be voluntary dead instead of him. Ouripid by offering this lovely devotion will praise matrimonial love at highest level. There are lots of these lovely theaters in history that lover will die instead of beloved or after death of beloved the lover will immediately die. Romeo & Juliet by Shakespeare or Tristan & Isolet by Vagner and Jozef Bedieh are among such lovely devotions that are famous in world.
2- Family Devotion:
Another kind of devotion is devotion for sake of maintaining family. Mohsen Yafani in play of Trap by showing devotion of young educated hero in dramatic mode will show that how instead of continuing education and having successful future finally will accept to live in small town with low salary since his old parents and small brother and mother are facing with great financial problem. He selecting hard choice intends to sacrifice himself for the sake of meeting social needs of his family.
3- Political Devotion:
Here domain of devotion is not just a group of people or family, rather a group of fighter with political thoughts is specified. This kind of hero devotion means fight with corruption in different classes or in government that they believe that tyrant is failing. This kind of devotion is full of deprivation, pain and tortures. Person who is devoting will create successful future for himself and goals of other people. This hero is courage, aware and will not be tired. Some samples of this kind of devotion include hero of Mother play by Bertold Brecht, character of Dingo in play of In Glowing Heart of Dingo by Gorgi.
4- National Devotion:
Forth kind of devotion that its sample can be found in all nations and cultures is devotion for sake of country. Here most of great characters of world either usual or small ones will gotten stock in different situations that for the sake of guarding from language, religion, soil and country shall sacrifice the life and defend from national values and freedom of country. Play called Mariana Pinda by Garcia Loka, In Skin of Lion by Shoun Oksi, Arash by Bahram Beizaei are playes with this theme. In these 3 works all of the main character at first is an ordinary and small person without having any national motivation by passing time gradually they will affect by positive and negative effects and their personal motivation will change into group motivation and finally they will perform a heroic activity.
5- Gnostic Devotion:
Gnosticism means understanding God and world via way of thinking and it is nature of poem and ode. The followers here seek to find a way to dominate over their weakness in order to achieve Rightness. As Attar said: from 30 hens one has reached to Seemorgh(fictional bird). The ideal thinking level of such follower to achieve God and saying I Am Right. Regardless to theoretical topic for ways of thinking the thing that is important for objective aspect of such followers that has got reflection in our ancient culture and daily life is value and importance concepts like Humbleness and Chivalry that we can see the effect of these two concepts as Operational Gnosticism in custom of Heroism and Chivalry. Abolhassan Khareghani the great Gnostic has said: whoever comes from door without asking from his religion give him bread. Also Molavi has said: its takes 1000 years to be Muslim and it will take another 1000 years to be true human that are true instances of chivalries and heroes. Devotion and forgiveness of Pourya Vali and similar characters are instances of such Gnosticism devotion. In play called Akbar The Hero Will Die by Bahram Beizaei we can clearly see such Gnostic devotion. In Japanese plays that infer from Gnosticism of Zen Boudism we can see lots of such Gnostic, Heroism and Samurai devotions.
6- Religious Devotion:
Motivation of great hero in such works is just for the sake of proving religion, approaching to God and submission about God’s providence. Such followers by withdrawing from properties of world will think that this mundane world in only an introduction for reaching to afterlife. Thus goals of such person include strengthening religion, rightfulness of religion, advertising religious ethics, insisting on heaven, hell and resurrection and such person is ready to devote his life for sake of his goals. T.S Eliot great writer and drama writer of England in drama named Murder in Jameh Church and Jan Anio famous French drama writer in his famous work named as Beket refer to religious devotion and martyrdom that under effect of retrieving identity they will change from atheism to pure religion and belief and are ready to sacrifice their life.
Plays of Poul Kloudel great drama writer of French by writing plays named Noon Prayers, Good News for Maryam, Satan Shoes is referred to devotion and religious martyrdom. Like all Iranian morality player, all heroes of such works only think of sacrificing themselves for the sake of their religion and ideology. It is not important for them to achieve success in short time since they think that it takes a long time for reaching to religious and spiritual success.
Devotion is classified in 6 sections. Such persons who devote their life are not naÃ¯ve and simple minded persons rather their actions are consciously and they logically will analyze and select their way of life and identity. They have good intention and true belief and completely know that by having personal ambitiousness they can not reach to their goals. Thus their success is linked with their beliefs, values and true goals; so as Arish Foroum in book named Art of Loving has said: their action truly is regarded as donating something not receiving something! They don’t care about themselves and their benefits and if they gain something surely it is Spiritual Thing. It is to be noted that in 20th century there were lots of extremists and fascist attitudes that for capturing world and developing their power, they have deceived millions of people by their advertisements meanwhile the goal of true sacrificing people is Value, Spirituality & Pure Love.
Writer: Qotbeddin Sadeghi, university proof & writer & theater director