Belgian theater director Luk Perceval: ′We should see multiculturalism in a positive light′| DW.COM

Interesting interview but too simplistically links marginalization to violence. As others have noted (e.g., Gurski), the backgrounds of extremists and terrorists vary, although marginalization does play a role:

The great power of theater is that we don’t only recognize ourselves on stage, in one of the characters, but that we also feel included. On stage, questions are asked that every person deals with: questions of love, death, war, everything that we don’t know or are unsure of in life. The moment when we feel this sense of not knowing, this insecurity in the group, and we can laugh or cry together about it – that’s when a feeling of community is created.

Art is suspending for a moment people’s feeling of being alone. It is feeling that we are all part of humanity and we have the same problems and doubts.

To what extent should theater deal with current social issues?

I grew up in Belgium, a country that has seen so many wars in the past and has become a kind of thoroughfare for Europe. Here you’re confronted with so many cultures and languages. That’s why I personally feel the need to tell people to watch out and not erect fences. They won’t help with anything.

Should theater always send that message? I don’t know. Only if there is an honest commitment behind it. But after Paris and Brussels, it’s necessary to talk about our shock. And I think it’s important for theater to create space where people can discuss their feelings.

How optimistic are you about the future? 

I’m afraid that this is just the beginning of something horrible. I hope that the peace talks in Syria can achieve constructive results. Diplomatic solutions must be found for this war. It’s not just about the criminals in Brussels. Salah Abdeslam was able to hide in Brussels for four months. That shows how powerful the network behind him is. The fundamental question is, though, to what extent terror is also linked to tremendous injustice in the world – particularly in the Arab World.

I really am concerned that things will escalate as long as the gap between rich and poor – not just in Brussels, but worldwide – doesn’t change. Until then, I’m afraid these murders won’t end.

Source: Belgian theater director Luk Perceval: ′We should see multiculturalism in a positive light′ | Arts | DW.COM | 29.03.2016

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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