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Many people in the world seem to be at war with each other. We see families split through disagreements, gang warfare on the streets, politicians arguing, whole civilisations and religions constantly battling. This device aims to help those who are at odds with each other make a first move toward reconciliation. A traditional handshake can sometimes be just too big a step for those entrenched in their dislike of the other. No matter how important it is for two people to reconcile their differences they simply can’t get over their pride and lower themselves to the symbolism of a handshake with the other party.
SURPLUS REALITY is a fotonovela that portrays real-life situations. Every story contains at least one political or social dilemma which is then analyzed and leads to several possible endings. The participants are untrained actors and arrive at the set knowing only the first half of the story they are about to portray. Once the main part of the story has been photographed, the cast and production staff participate in a workshop in which they propose their own alternate endings, thus becoming co-authors of the story. The fotonovela as a genre was tipically used for romance stories, melodramas and crime fiction that often ended with the moral or physical annihilation of the characters. The goal here is diffierent: to find solutions, creative strategies for confronting seemingly untractable situations. Our aim is to come up with the best imaginable yet plausible alternatives. The idea behind creating SURPLUS REALITY is indebted to the methods described in Agusto Boal’s, Theater of the Oppressed, and Jacob-Levi Moreno’s, Sociodrama. While their methods reach only those who attend the performance, the fotonovela allows us to conserve that sponteneity while creating a visual document. Through SURPLUS REALITY we hope to identify a space between journalism and fiction, where
Real Play from Lee-Wei Chen on Vimeo.