Rehearsing Revolution : How Live Action Role Playing Contributes to the Palestinian Resistance Movement

by Johanna Svanelind

Since its introduction to Palestine in 2011, LARP (Live Action Role-Playing) has been subverted and adapted by local groups in order to create authentic Palestinian forms of LARP. This article explores how LARP can be used as a tool of resistance, in ways similar to that of Augusto Boal’s Forum Theatre or ‘Izz al-Din al-Madani’s recreation of Istirad through the art of drama.It also explores how fantastical elements and imagination can contribute to the processing of real world issues, such as occupation, through pre-existing and adapted forms of storytelling. It argues that LARP, in its ambition to move across and beyond borders in a fictive reality, can be larger than a game, affecting both micro- and macro-levels of building and maintaining Palestinian society. Unlike previous work, this article argues that LARP’s true potential is not as a didactic tool, or as a tool for conflict resolution, but as a manifestation of resistance in its most subversive form.


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