Nia Costello


This photo is from the Royal Court Theatre in London, England performance of Debbie Tucker Green's story written play titled "Truth and Reconciliation". This play examines the nature of reconciliation and its relationship to the truth from the areas of Rwanda, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, and Zimbabwe. These theater performances are similar to the South Africa reconciliation commission performances that tell the songs and stories of those who were hurt and coping with it.

Songs were used during the community performances as protest, enactment of the past, and hope for the future. Culturally in South Africa, protest is often sung; also dating back to British colonization; is accompanied by dancing and swinging of imaginary rifles to shoot at the regime's military tanks (123). By doing so, these songs relive the hurtful events of the past as the performers weep and cradle their memories of dead infants and exact war scenes from the British and early Dutch war wiping out the Zulus. By being able to tell their story, these performances gave hope for the victims. Collectively singing the songs changed the individual trauma to collective identity (132). The lyrical voice the songs gave the victims a sense of security and community sharing their heart- wrenching stories.

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