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Migrant Players

digital Migrant Players
section Open Access
title Migrant Players
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
language English
online since 05-2019
doi 001200_000040
issn 03928667 (print) | 18277969 (digital)
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The article proposes that recent discoveries in neuroscience have highlighted the dramatic nature of being human. The detection of mirror neurons, adjacent to the previously revealed motor neurons, has strengthened a view of the human as a player: one who processes her understanding of both self and other through life-long, playful, experimental dramas. We are stimulated to produce empathic responses by watching the dramas of others. An improvisation in which we accept the offer of the other and give back one of our own is both a metaphor for the human condition and a description of it. Anti-social forces disrupt circuits of neurons and damage our function as actors, characters and audience. Instead of being open to accept others, we cower tribally in the ranks of ‘our own’, projecting dangerous motives onto other tribes. Through Brecht’s aesthetic of Verfremdung I examine how theatre intensifies empathy and distance, before applying it to the theatre company Cantieri Meticci. This Company brings migrants together with Italian citizens to explore questions around migration and identity. What the implications of man as player for organising a curriculum that enables rather than stifles the dramatic potential of each of us.


Mirror neurons; empathy; Brecht; Cantieri Meticci

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Anno: 2019 - n. 2

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