The Rainbow of Desire

Try to create a still life that represents the “voices in your head.”

That was the assignment for a class that used “Rainbow of Desire” as a stimulus for photographic creativity. Rainbow of Desire is a branch of “Theater of the Oppressed“, developed by Augusto Boal, that seeks to resolve internalized oppression though participatory theater. In our specific case we were asked to remember a time when we had fundamental doubts about who we were and to arrange people in a way that represents that time. My arrangement is shown in the photo below. I am the figure in the center and the people to the left represent people who were present at the time. We were then asked to remember the “voices in our head”  (“cops” in our head, to use Boal’s terminology), and to pose people to represent those voices. The people on the right represent those voices.

“When I had fundamental doubts about who I was.” Photo by Ivan Iannoli.

In the real Theater of the Oppressed, the people in the arrangement would act out the situation and a dialog would develop between the characters, including the internal voices.  For this class we stopped at this Tableau Vivant.

The next phase was to create photographs based on our tableau. I decided to use an abstract approach and created the following two still lifes.

Round Bottomed Flasks and head_MG_6642

Head flask Erenmeyer_MG_6621

I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to speculate on the event in question and the meaning of the still lifes.

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