Acts of Activism
This book was first published in 2010. Madison presents the neglected yet compelling and necessary story of local activists in South Saharan Africa who employ modes of performance as tactics of resistance and intervention in their day-to-day struggles for human rights. The dynamic relationship between performance and activism are illustrated in three case studies: Act One presents a battle between tradition and modernity as the bodies of African women are caught in the cross-fire. Act Two focuses on 'water democracy' as activists fight for safe, accessible public water as a human right. Act Three examines the efficacy of street performance and theatre for development in the oral histories of Ghanaian gender activists. Unique to this book is the continuing juxtaposition between the everyday performances of local activism and their staged enactments before theatre audiences in Ghana and the USA. Madison beautifully demonstrates how these disparate sites of performance cohere in the service of rights, justice, and activism.