Theatre troupe, Bot Tola paid homage to Augusto Boal, founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed, with a memorial meeting held at the Studio Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy recently. The great Brazilian theatre director, dramatist, and activist passed away on May 2.
Eminent theatre personalities, Ataur Rahman, Mamunur Rashid, Professor Mohammad Selim, Salek Khan and theatre activist Mizanur Rahman, were present at the event. The guests held discussions on the life and work of Agusto Boal, his theory of Theatre of the Oppressed, its objective/application and more. The event also included the inauguration of Augusto Boal Centre, a branch of Bot Tola.
Born in 1931 in Brazil, Boal used the theatrical form in radical popular education movements. His revolutionary approach to theatre, which involved many new concepts such as Forum theatre, Legislative theatre and Invisible theatre inspired many around the world. His active political involvement led to his torture, arrest and eventual exile. Later, he served a term as a vereador (the Brazilian equivalent of a city councillor) in Rio de Janeiro from 1993 to 1997, where he developed many experimental works.
In the course of his eventful life, he won the UNESCO Pablo Picasso Medal (1994) and was awarded the 'Career Achievement Award (1997)' by the Association of Theatre in Higher Education at their national conference in Chicago, Illinois. Boal also received The Cross Border Award for Peace and Democracy by Dundalk Institute of Technology in 2008 and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize the same year.