"Never ever forget that you are the future of this country…You mustn't be frightened of life, it's a very exciting life because you can make your dreams come true" Pieter-Dirk Uys, from the documentary Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story
“In the end it will be up to audiences each time in the event because they will determine the stories,” says Diamond. “My hope is that we have the courage, in a way, not to look at how to change that thing out there, but how to change ourselves.”
That self-reflexive and socially conscious attitude has defined the theatre company right from its humble beginnings in Vancouver in 1981, and it continues to exemplify creative leadership around the most sensitive topics in contemporary public debate. Diamond’s first prominent role in the company, as associate director of the 1982 production Right to Fight, addressed affordable housing. Later, Diamond wrote The Enemy Within, which satirized B.C. politics in 1986. Two years later, he had his directorial debut for the company with one of its Power Plays, which use theatre games and exercises to explore social issues and create community-specific theatre.
Corporations in Our Heads is one of Diamond’s more experimental works in his effort to reach out to community through art. Based on the work of Brazilian theatre visionary Augusto Boal, creator of Theatre for the Oppressed, Diamond’s new work is an original interpretation of Boal’s Cops in the Head, but takes an entirely different approach. “The rules of the Theatre of the Oppressed, I’ve thrown them right out the window,” says Diamond.
The production asks Calgary residents to reflect on, share, act on and change the dominant messages that influence society . “The reason to do the thing for me is there’s a lot of good work happening out there on how the messages of corporations affect our consuming,” says Diamond. “But I don’t think we’re doing a lot of talking about how those messages affect our own images, not just of ourselves but of our relationships with each other. And it’s at the relationship level, in fact, that our consuming originates.
Corporations in Our Heads will be facilitated by (or “joked by,” as Theatre for Living puts it) Diamond himself, who incites the audience to participate. “The power of it, for me, is that it really is a democratic thing,” he says. “While we are framing the general subject matter, Corporations in Our Heads, the actual content really is going to be determined by the people who enter the room that night. And nobody — not me, not the sponsoring groups, nobody — is going to be able to predetermine the content.”
This article, titled, New theatre work examines corporate psychology, continues where it was originally published on November 7 in Fast Forward Weekly. The piece is a continuity on the theme presented by Pieter-Dirk Uys and his arts activism in South Africa, as David Diamond represents a similar following in social consciousness and public engagement in Canada.
_________Following the trend of the album, Sketches of Style, this sounding is an amalgamation of three instrumental improvisations harmonized and syncopated together with a synthetic rhythm. The beat creeps in, reminding the listener of the abstract organ that touches on soul, as the reeded music blends with darbuka.
Originally published in a comic, the poem that led to the musical expression of the same title, "find Inspiration!" first appeared in Maad Sheep, an illustrated print publication of cartoon and literature that I once found while sitting in an open-air cafe. The issue in which my piece was featured was displayed at a Comic Convention in Canada.
Lyrically, the piece is a foray into the bitter savagery that cooks the great mass of minds; all who are saturated by the consumptive bread of modern life. The challenge of simply being creative in confrontation with the overwhelming burst and pop mirrorscape of infinite self-deception is the subject and of this sketch of style.
The rest of the chapbook is a fourteen page collection of poetry on the subject of gaining respect and appreciation for the superhuman qualities of nature, as more than grandiose, and more than human intellect and possession could ever capture or convey. Many are observational, and drawn from insights into the ground of being as the naked soul of humanity.