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Ananda Breed

Ananda Breed

Interweaving Performance Cultures

Fellow 2013/14

Applied arts practitioner and scholar, Breed is the author of Performing the Nation: Genocide, Justice, Reconciliation, in addition to several publications that address transitional systems of governance and the arts. She has worked as a consultant for IREX and UNICEF in Kyrgyzstan on issues concerning conflict prevention and conducted workshops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Palestine, Rwanda and Turkey. Breed is co-director of the Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD) at the University of East London.

Research Project

Between Borders: Nomadic Aesthetics of Applied Cultural Forms in Central Asia

Her project, Between Borders: Nomadic Aesthetics of Applied Cultural Forms in Central Asia, will build on fieldwork conducted in Kyrgyzstan and is informed by practice in other areas of conflict. Due to the migratory and nomadic nature of the region, Central Asia is a prominent area to explore the relationship between performance and the applied arts. Borders were intentionally carved out so that there weren’t distinct boundaries between countries¹, which has led to ongoing conflict on issues such as land rights and water, but has also provided rich opportunities for cross-cultural exchange. The project will research the culturally specific and historic use of cultural forms to negotiate conflict in Central Asia. It also explores the documentation of how embodied local discourses (embedded in performance practices) concerning regional and geographic conflicts may inform or counter hegemonic or national constructions of post-conflict identity formation. How are the regional and geographic contexts of conflict negotiated within the exchange and permutation of cultural forms? How can these practices inform those of conflict prevention? How can participatory practices adapt aesthetic performance practices to negotiate between embodied cultural and political histories and current political and social conflicts?

Selected Publications

  • Performing the Nation: Genocide, Justice, and Reconciliation. Chicago: Seagull Press, 2013.
  • "Discordant Narratives in Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts," in P. Noack, (ed.) Rwanda Fast Forward, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2012, pp. 29-44.

  • "Performing the Nation: Theatre in Post-Genocide Rwanda," The Drama Review, vol. 52, no. 1, 2008, pp. 33-50.



¹ Borders are contentious: only 489 of the 972 kilometers of the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has been fixed, 58 land parcels on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border remain contested and heightened border security in certain areas restricts local trade. EurasiaNet, Kyrgyzstan: Ambiguous Kyrgyz-Tajik border increases risk of conflict, 2 February 2009. http://tinyurl.com/r4ue6r [accessed 5 August 2013].

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung