<     >     <<
Thursday March 14 | Session 17:15 - 18:15 (20 min)
De Brakke Grond | Rode Zaal
Having been examined primarily from the position of art studies, performance was long underestimated as a social phenomenon and a communicative process. However, it is an efficient means of communication and mutual creation of meanings based on the reflexivity, openness, creativity, and self-presentation of its participants. Moreover, performance as a form of communication presupposes not only transmission of ideas and co-creation, but also both sociocultural and political transformation and personal transformation of its actors and audience.

Transformative potential of performance can be considered through the lens of notion of liminality by A. van Gennep that refers to the “in-between” states, which consolidate a social reality and are the constitutive conditions of its development. Performance using nonverbal and verbal symbols, which are created and shared due to its’ participants presence, leads to the construction of collective representations, which transform the public thought and influence a social reality.

Applying the concept of liminality and communication as both ritual and transmission of information (two approaches defined by J. Carey) to the explication of performance communicative and transformative potential, it is fruitful to consider a Ukrainian experience of performative reorganization of social order appealing to the example of 2014 Ukrainian revolution.

The events that took place on Maidan (political performances, socio-artistic performances of singing the national anthem by more than 100 thousand people, military performances) reveal the liminal nature of those collective actions, which broke the undemocratic institutions and preconditioned further democratization and liberalization of the state. Thus, performance as a social event is a powerful means of social transformation.


Maria Lihus is a PhD student at the philosophical department of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, where she previously earned a bachelor and master degree in the field of philosophy. Her thesis is devoted to the consideration of performance as a social phenomenon, especially, as a form of communication, which characterizes the modern society. During her study, she took an active part not only in the scientific life of the University publishing articles and participating in the Ukrainian and foreign conferences, but also in its social life, especially in musical concerts as a pianist.   

<     >     <<