PRECARIZATION IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM - An ethnographic study of the working and living conditions of early non-institutional performing arts groups in Gothenburg

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper

Sammanfattning: In Swedish theatre history, the period 1965–2000 is seen as a time of emergency andestablishment of the non-institutional performing arts field and is referred to as the “expansion period”. The performing arts’ field expanded due to the non-institutional performing arts groups, known as the “free groups”, which started to perform in new places, to experiment artistically, to meet new audiences and to raise social questions. This study examines the working and living conditions of the non-institutional performing arts groups’ members from Gothenburg during a main part of the expansion period in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s by focusing on the tension between the artists’ need of freedom and their need of public fundingfor their cultural productions. Based on interviews with nine members of non-institutional performing arts groups, complemented by archive material, newspaper articles and official documents, this study, through its interdisciplinary approach, creates a link between theatre studies and sociology. The theoretical framework used for analysing the material combines concepts of power relation (Foucault), cultural field (Bourdieu), interdependency (Butler) and governmental precarization (Lorey) in order to capture the complexity of the performing arts field. The results of the study point to the entanglements between the instruments of governing(e.g. the cultural policies), the precarious economic conditions of the non-institutionalperforming arts groups dependent on the public funding system and the ambivalence of thecultural producers expressed through self-exploitation and self-empowerment.

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