Collective Imagining: Collaborative Story Telling through Image Theater


  • Warren Linds Concordia University
  • Elinor Vettraino University of Dundee



performative inquiry, storytelling, embodied knowing, practitioner research, image, imagining


This article is a dialogue between two practitioners of Image theater—a technique which involves using the body to share stories. Working in Quebec and Scotland, we discuss the potential ways such a form of performative inquiry (FELS, 1998) can, through an online medium, be documented and disseminated in ways that are coherent with, and build on, the principles of interactive theater. Our hope is that such an exploration will enable the participants in the work, ourselves, and our readers as performative social science researchers, so that we may engage as spect-actors (BOAL, 1979) with the material and build communities of practice through reflection on action (praxis). A key aspect we consider is ways in which physical dialogue through the body evolves—first as a method of enacting the world, where collective meaning emerges and secondly, as a concept that uses symbolic/metaphoric aesthetic language through what one colleague calls "body-storming" (like "brain-storming," but with the emotional and sensory body as a source and language of expression). URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0802568


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Author Biographies

Warren Linds, Concordia University

Warren LINDS, Ph. D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has been working in popular theatre and community education since 1978. He is interested in the exploration of the facilitation and development of transformative drama processes that address issues of racism through a performative writing and research methodology. Warren is also co-editor of Unfolding bodymind: Exploring possibility through education (Foundation for Educational Renewal, 2001) and the author of Metaxis: Dancing (in) the in-between in Jan Cohen-Cruz and Mady Schutzman (Eds.), A Boal Companion (Routledge, 2006).

Elinor Vettraino, University of Dundee

Elinor VETTRAINO, BEd (Hons) is the Head of Learning, Teaching and Recruitment and Lecturer in Drama in the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education, University of Dundee, Scotland. She has been working in educational drama since 1992 and at the University since 2001. She is interested in the impact of invisible theatre and Image Theatre on the psychology of organisations as well as the benefit of Boalian techniques to explore self-evaluation and professional reflection. Elinor is co-author of Drama Techniques and Enhancement of Social Emotional Development in People with Special Needs: A Systematic Review (International Journal of Special Education, 2007)




How to Cite

Linds, W., & Vettraino, E. (2008). Collective Imagining: Collaborative Story Telling through Image Theater. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2).