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Media Coverage of Domestic Violence: Communicating Critical Consciousness through the Theatre of Baddesse
Media coverage represents and frames the reporting of gender-based violence and influences and shapes the responses to this persistent problem. The UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts presented Baddesse as its student production in April 2019. This production employed an epic theatre (Brecht, 1964) and a forum theatre (Boal, 1979, 1993) approach and a critical pedagogy perspective (Freire, 1970, 1993) to narrate and dramatize the multi-faceted experiences of victims and perpetrators from a range of theater-based perspectives. These on-stage perspectives are compared to actual media reporting and actual statistical reporting on domestic violence to explore similarities and differences among these sources through techniques of contrast, juxtaposition, salience and critical discourse studies. Using selected media texts in Trinidad and Tobago and a wider body of literature, this exploration describes, interrogates and interprets the challenges and possibilities associated with media coverage and representation of gender-based violence.