Together with Prof. Nicole Haitzinger and Julia Ostwald, MA from Theatre and Dance Studies, Dr. Johannes Klackl from Social Psychology and Lena Ramstetter, PhD student in Comparative Politics in the department of Political Science, Zoe Lefkofridi successfully submitted an application to the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) #ConnnectingMinds for her transdisciplinary project called VOICES FOR EMPOWERMENT AGAINST GENDER INEQUALITIES(VOICEsEMPOWER): Revisiting the potential of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed between politics, aesthetics, and social activism in contemporary Europe VOICEsEMPOWER).

The Theatre of the Oppressed is a specific form of participatory theatre that is designed to present social problems and to solve them through the participation of the audience as the essential decision-makers whose judgement decides on the course and the end of the play. The adaptation of the method of the Theatre of the Oppressed to the European context will allow the VOICEsEMPOWER project to better understand issues of gender inequality in Europe and will help developing solutions to the identified problems. Thus, VOICEsEMPOWER is intended to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women, girls and their allies in 21st century Europe through both aesthetic strategies and experimental processes, all of which are intended to raise awareness in society and thus highlight and, as far as possible, eliminate these inequalities. For this purpose, the research team uses various methods (e.g. random control trials, surveys, qualitative interviews, artistic-led research) and combines knowledge from theatre and dance studies, political science and social psychology with practice-oriented knowledge from artists, educators, therapists, social workers and political activists.