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Words of Wisdom

Augusto Boal: “I believe in real democracy, not phony democracy.”

"I believe in democracy, but in real democracy, not a phony democracy in which just powerful people can speak. For me, in a democracy everyone speaks."

Augusto Boal (1931-2009) was a Brazilian theatre practitioner who, after being kidnapped, tortured and exiled during the 1970s, established a theatrical form known as Theatre of the Oppressed. Inspired by fellow Brazilian Paulo Freire, Boal’s new form sought to employ performance as an educational tool through which members of the audience become active participants in the theatrical experience. Boal, who also spent five years as a city councilmember in Rio de Janeiro, was one of the most influential theatre figures of the past 50 years.


“I believe in democracy, but in real democracy, not a phony democracy in which just powerful people can speak. For me, in a democracy everyone speaks.”

Source: As quoted in “To Dynamize the Audience: Interview with Augusto Boal” by Robert Enight, Canadian Theatre Review 47 (Summer 1986), pp. 41-49

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(h/t Wikiquote)

Photo credit: “Augusto Boal nyc3” by Jonathan McIntoshOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


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