Researching experiences and politics of wildfire crises in Bolivia through participatory theatre and visual arts

‘Playing with wildfires’ is an action-research project situated at the interface between theatre-based artistic practice and social science research. It uses a popular community theatre method called Forum Theatre (FT) to conduct social research and generate community-based responses to multi-layered conflicts (cultural, political, distributive, environmental) in communities most affected by recent extensive wildfires in Bolivia.

In March 2022, during a five-day workshop and using Forum Theatre methods, a group of 28 participants from 22 different communities in the Chiquitania region played together, shared their own stories and experiences of wildfires and created four short performances. The plays enacted a series of oppressions and conflicts drawn from these individuals’ lived experiences of recurrent fire crises.