Concordia University

Luis Carlos Sotelo Castro, LLM, MA, PhD

Canada Research Chair in Oral History Performance, Theatre

Office: S-GM 500-61 
Guy-De Maisonneuve Building,
1550 De Maisonneuve W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4784
Website(s): Canada Research Chairs
Archive of Performance Work
Explore Concordia
Availability: Wednesday 10.a.m. - 12noon

Luis Carlos Sotelo-Castro (PhD) is a Colombian artist-researcher. His practice is performance-based. He creates live environments of memory in collaboration with other artists and participants from specific communities and locations. Since 2002, he has done work with and for internally displaced people, Indigenous communities, migrants, and elderly people both in Latin America and in the United Kingdom.

His vision as Concordia’s Canada Research Chair in Oral History Performance (OHP) is to position listening as a subject of study in the context of oral history performance.

His latest work, The Most Convenient Way Out, an ongoing project on listening, performance, and audio-walks in zones of armed conflict was commissioned by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration and premiered in Colombia in July 2014. A second version was featured as part of the Why? What's Happening for the Young festival at London's Southbank Centre in October 2014.

His creation-research of the last seven years has focused on exploring creative ways by which to set audiences/participants in motion/action within specific spaces. He frames their actions in space as integral to a remembrance activity. He is interested in what such activities and uses of personal memory might do for the different participants, both individually and collectively. He welcomes graduate students in the following areas: oral history performance, socially engaged art and performance, performance and activism, applied performance and theatre, political performance, walking art, participatory performance, site-specific performance, documentary theatre, verbatim theatre, performance and space, performance and cartography and, more broadly, performance studies.     

In the articles following his PhD monograph Participation Cartography: Performance, Space, and Subjectivity (2009), he explores more specifically the interconnections between cartography, presentation of self, memory, and performance.

Participation activities

Mediating listening, performing living connections: the art of being guided through someone else’s life story…in her absence

Paper for the Annual Meeting of the Oral History Association. Minneapolis. October. 2017   

Participatory walking as aesthetic strategy for transforming a hostage space

Paper for Unstable Geographies: Multiple Theatricalities. International Federation for Theatre Research. Sao Paulo, Brazil. 10 - 14 July 2017.    

‘It’s ok not to hear all the story, it’s the experience of it’. On the performative functions of listening in the context of audio-walks.

Paper for the Annual Meeting of the International Listening Association. Nebraska.June. 2017   

Vocabulario Crítico para el análisis de Puestas en escena de Historia Oral

Paper in Spanish for the National Meeting of the Oral History Association (Colectivo de History Oral). Colombia. May 2017.   

The aesthetics of intercultural listening within a theatrical frame

Paper for Migration/Representation/Stereotypes Conference. Univ. of Ottawa. April 2017.

Teaching activities

Oral History Performance

Students in Oral History Performance will study a range of approaches to combining oral history interviewing techniques with socially engaged performance strategies within the context of the ethics and politics of this emerging practice. Students will develop skills in acting, researching, and devising within a range of memory-based performance practices including oral history performance, documentary and verbatim theatre. The course will culminate with a final public demonstration of student-devised work, and with a portfolio documenting each student’s learning process.

Research activities

Walking, Performance and Terror

I am currently working on a chapter that uses as case study a walk performed in 2007 by the father of a soldier held hostage by rebel (terrorist) group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia for over 12 years. The walk served to transform the captive towards freedom. 

Canada Foundation for Innovation

I am working on a grant application for the Canada Foundation of Innovation to set up a Listening Performance Lab and Repository at Concordia's Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. 


‘Participatory Walking as a Strategy to Transform a Landscape of Terror’

forthcoming, 2016 In: (Breed,A. and Prentki, T.Eds) Performative Landscapes. London:Palgrave.    

Looking backwards in order to walk forwards: walking, collective memory, and the site of the inter-cultural in site-specific performance

Performance Research,Vol. 15 No. 4 (Dec. 2010)

Participation Cartography: blurring the boundaries of space and autobiography by means of performance

Ride: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. 15.4, November 2010

Participation Cartography: the presentation of Self in spatio-temporal terms

CFP: 'Disclose', M/C Journal Vol. 12 No. 6, 2009

Artistic performances

The Most Convenient Way Out (and audio-walk for two)

Commissioned by International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (2014)

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