Institute of Postcolonial Studies

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Finding place after dislocation

A participatory theatre project seeking to deepen self- and public understandings of asylum seekers and refugees’ experiences of settlement in Melbourne. Led by playwright Mammad Aidani and hosted by IPCS.

Days Left

Finding place after dislocation mobilises participatory theatre techniques to deepen self- and public understandings of asylum seekers and refugees’ experiences of settlement in Melbourne.

Theatre director and playwright Mammad Aidani will work with Iranian and Afghani men from diverse backgrounds to explore their lived experiences of identity, dislocation and emplacement.

The project has gained new significance and urgency in the wake of the compounded trauma some of these men have experienced during COVID-19 social isolation.


The theatre project will shed light on the inter-relationships between cultural stigmatisation, dislocation, and social action, at a time of deepening anxiety, isolation and stress.

Participatory theatre techniques have been shown to be particularly generative for work with dislocated, marginalised and vulnerable people. The method’s main strength is its embodied, interpretative, dialogical and descriptive nature.

Participatory theatre does not produce linear biographies (as is often demanded by refugee assessment boards and some humanities and social sciences disciplines, as well as conventional theatre production), but generative themes in the lives of participants.

Vitally, theatrical methods are geared towards helping participants work cooperatively, develop alternative forms of social action, and envisage new possible futures.


The Institute of Postcolonial Studies has set an ambitious target to raise $20,000.

Funds raised will cover visiting fellow stipend, payments to contributors, translations, and travel and meal costs for participants.

Eight men will participate in ten two-hourly workshops run over three months at IPCS. The practice will commence with individual interviews. Participants will write vignettes drawn from experience and perform aspects of their own navigation of conflict, separation, isolation, fear, and hope. Through the workshops they will become co-creators and performers of stories of their own experiences.

Workshopped writings will be developed and rehearsed into a performance to be publicly staged. It is anticipated that there will be five performances and related panel discussions in theatres across Melbourne and in a regional community.


Please contact the Institute of Postcolonial Studies for further details or if you would like to discuss your donation.

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The Institute of Postcolonial Studies was founded in 1996 as an independent venue for the exploration of postcolonial scholarship, politics and creative practice.

The Institute hosts a wide variety of public events, performances and presentations, often bringing together scholars, artists, activists and larger publics to explore and respond to the legacies of the colonial encounter in Australia and globally.

At the core of the activities and projects we aim to foster and support there is one central guiding concern: how can we best respond to the pressing challenges of coexistence in the present?


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