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Research Article |

Navigating a Censorious and Authoritarian Socio-Political Environment in Zimbabwe Through Street Theatre

Street theatre in Zimbabwe has played a pivotal role in giving a critical commentary on the sociopolitical discourse. However the role of this art form has remained under researched. Over the years, the state has deployed confrontational and violent means to thwart any forms of dissent. This has necessitated street theatre practitioners to deploy non-confrontational and creative means to counter state excesses. Deploying James Scott’s theory of public and hidden transcripts, this research unveils some of the creative ways by which artists and practitioners have devised in order to deal with the state. This article analyses how street theatre plays a political watchdog role in Zimbabwe’s multilayered crisis. Whilst the paper argues that street theatre resists domination and the state in subtle ways. The research therefore examines the strategies that street theatre adopted so as to cautiously navigate power through the use of public and hidden transcripts. It also explores street theatre as resistance to other forms of dominance which are not necessarily political. The researcher examines thematic concerns, characterisation, and the use of song, dance and space as elements through which resistance is subtly communicated in street theatre.

Street Theatre, Harare, Resistance, Covert, Hidden Transcripts

Peace Mukwara, Cyrl Mudzinganyama. (2023). Navigating a Censorious and Authoritarian Socio-Political Environment in Zimbabwe Through Street Theatre. Social Sciences, 12(5), 246-252.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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