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The Man on the Hill:
Working for Social and Political Change

By Liz Crow
In Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, 11:5, 2015


The Man on the Hill is a story of a man who wants to be useful and sets out to collect the sorrows of the world that he might set the people free.

In my work as an artist-activist, I use creative work for social and political change. During an extended performance set in a converted church (Crow 2012), a stream of visitors told me their sorrows while, in stained glass soaring above me, a tall, benign figure stood, steady and steadying, his hand raised in blessing, to his side a rounded green hill and sturdy tree.1 Intrigued by the way the images held me, I turned to writing as inquiry (Richardson 1994) to explore their meaning, recognising them as a metaphor for affective aspects of social justice work.

The rhetorical parabolic form, with its intention to impart moral lessons (Burchfield 1996) and subvert the status quo (Champion 1989), became my genre of re-presentation. In its magical-realism, The Man on the Hill is yet rooted in human experience (Spindler 2008), using the concreteness of story events as a bridge to abstract ideas (Boucher 1977), to tell a story of how best to be, and to be effective, in working for social and political change.

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To cite this page: Crow, Liz (2015) The Man on the Hill: Working for Social and Political Change, Roaring Girl Productions [online] [Available at:] [Accessed 19/06/2024]