Our Collective Protest Sign
Once again the task of adapting Theatre of The Oppressed to Occupy San Diego presented some challenges, but our presence definitely added to the rally. We had some logistical problems with some participants arriving late and others not arriving at all. This situation actually provided the opportunity to announce our sculpture and invite participate during the set-up prior to the speeches. Several people enthusiastically took roles in the sculpture and the other attendees were intrigued.
This format was not well suited for presenting the sculpture for an analytical process. Due to the nature of the event and the lack of coordination with the planners of the rally, there was no time to deliberately establish the whole sculpture and give it the time and space it needed for analysis. However, the attendees of the rally definitely appreciated and responded positively to the components and complexities of the image. Many people took pictures and arranged our actors into smaller sculptures for photo opportunities.
The power of the sculpture in this setting is that it amplifies the individual impulse to carry a sign into a larger collective image. This collectivizing of “the protest sign” is emblematic of the Occupy Wall Street movement itself. We become more powerful and more thoughtful when combine our individual thoughts and actions into a collective and collaborative process and action.