Performing City Resilience is a collaborative project by Patrick Duggan and Stuart Andrews. The project investigates how performance can contribute to – and reconfigure – ideas and practices of city ‘resilience’. While there has recently been significant international interest in questions of city resilience and the development of corresponding resilience strategies, as yet there has been no substantial study of the potential usefulness of artistic and cultural practice to understandings and practices of resilience. This project contributes to filling that significant gap in knowledge.
Through a series of city case studies, in diverse geopolitical contexts facing different resilience challenges we are exploring how artists engage, implicitly or explicitly, in ideas and practices of resilience. Through this research we hope also to understand how resilience can be useful to understanding contemporary performance (plurally defined) and, importantly, vice versa.
The intention of this project is to show the vital contribution performance can make to sophisticated understandings of city resilience, and to illuminate the usefulness of resilience theory to understanding contemporary performance in particular city contexts. This is urgent work, given both international recognition of significant threats to cities, and current and significant efforts to prepare for and seek to alleviate these in multiple ways, but which are yet to consider the arts seriously.
Our first case study city is New Orleans, where we will be conducting field research in March/April 2018.