The role of clowns in bringing about social change via ridiculing and critiquing the current state of events is evaluated in the article, “What is festive revolutionary culture?” According to the author, “Much as clowns destroy stage conventions, the audience for its part is invited-by direct address-to consent to the religion, join it, celebrate its utopian goals and speak against injustice and oppression after the play ends.” The entertainment by modern day clowns is intricately intertwined with political consciousness. For instance, the Mime troupe staged a play in which a corrupt judge and landlord burnt a building as a ploy to evacuate poor tenants. This play was inspired by the 1977 forced evacuation of low income Chinese and Filipino citizens from an affordable housing project in order to make way for an ultramodern parking lot. Due to the play’s publicity, the planned development did not commence after demolition. Plans were made to set up affordable housing units and a Philippine Cultural center after 20 years. This incidence is indeed a manifestation of festive revolutionary culture. Entertainers are well placed in utilizing their popularity to expose corruption, and influence policy making for the common good of society.
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This festive revolutionary culture is highly influenced by Marxist ideology which dominates in the political atmosphere. The use of entertainment to highlight injustice and trigger a revolution is much relevant in modern day society. I concur with the author when he stresses on the qualities of a revolutionary culture. Using popular theatre as a model, comic clowns challenge the status quo. Most important, they instigate change by promoting the implementation of new ideas. These new ideas are likened to rebirth/renaissance as well as renewal. Lastly, there is need to instill a sense of community amongst audience members. This is powerful as the masses need to be united and very conscious of injustices in order to lobby for change.
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