Réka Polonyi

Email: reka.polonyi@manchester.ac.uk

Website: www.rekapolonyi.net


Previous Education

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA)


Thesis Title

Taking up space: dynamics of play and representation among Palestinians youth living under occupation



Dr Jenny Hughes

Dr Johannes Sjoberg

Dr Michelle Obeid


Research Summary

This practice-based research in social theatre is investigating play-fueled initiatives among Palestinian youth living in the occupied territories. The study aims to critically navigate the dominating rhetoric surrounding our perception and understanding of what it means to experience armed conflict and political violence as a daily reality. The principal question is: How does self-driven and spontaneous play critically relate to dynamics of representation in a hyper-represented region? The study aims to critically navigate the often binary representation of Palestinian youth as either victims or potential perpetrators of violence (the ‘stone throwers’), who have thus been propelled to the forefront of the Israel/Palestinian conflict as its symbol. I focus on the environment of play and its embodied, spontaneous state among grassroots youth initiatives and activists, to examine self-representation of young people as conscious, social agents capable of self-determination.


Research Interests

theatre for social change, migrant rights advocacy, activism, play, clown, anarchy & self-governance

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