A framework for engaging Navajo women in clean energy development through applied theatre
An article by Beth Osnes, Adrian Manygoats and LIndsay Weitkamp
entitled "A framework for engaging Navajo women in clean energy development through applied theatre" was recently published in RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance (2015 Vol. 20, No. 2, 242–257, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13569783.2015.1019445).
Through applied theatre, Navajo women can participate in authoring a new story for how energy is mined, produced, developed, disseminated and used in the Navajo Nation. This article is an analysis of a creative process that was utilised with primarily Navajo women to create a Navajo Women’s Energy Project (NWEP). The framework for this creative process guided women in deeply considering energy issues from their own perspective and value base, facilitated them in articulating their values around energy, assessing the current energy situation not authored by women and invited them to imagine what kind of energy future they want. Finally, it facilitated women in identifying and rehearsing actions to move from the current story to the new story. This process is designed to include the participation of women who have rich life experience that is often in intimate and direct relationship with the environment, who hold knowledge in their bodies from lived experience and value traditional views and beliefs. The framework for applied theatre in this article helped to lay the groundwork for the NWEP in a relatively short amount of time in a manner that was inclusive, efficient, aesthetically stirring and fun. This framework has the potential to expedite and support the participation of women in authoring a new story for a wide variety of social issues.