https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBQxFOYZevI Producer Oliver Friljc
And I asked: Why are you so afraid of the nakedness of Truth?
Pity answered: I Hate The Truth. It is about us. All of us.
When in a country, region, a people hate one another, are xenophobic,
because of being overpowered by power, they need to know one thing. It never ends. It is about resources but you end up tied with acrimony, calling one another names, completely engaged in the wrong game. Weapons come out. Machetes, guns, knives but first always the tongues. A non-forgiving game. Nobody survives a broken nation to succeed. In the end, the betrayer is betrayed and all are eaten up. There is no safety in evil. Only in confronting it. This is drama like I never saw it before.
Never again will I see human beings as they against us, pushed a little we all become what you cannot even name. It does not matter that they are. Take care! Chunga maisha. Once you kill one, yours is on the line. The dry wood above laughs at the one in the fire... Ciitara cithekaga ciiriko!
The setting is historical and ahistorical in a sense. Croats and Serbians. Yogoslavia... Balkans. For they had killed and killed in the Balkans. Killed in words and shed blood. Ethnicism had taken over. Still the scars. And now... on stage this was drama for reconciliation or total severance from your ideas. Disconcerting in order to concert. It rammed in you the message. Betray today for your people, all yours will be betrayed tomorrow. Killed. Stop it! Still your senses. See yourself naked and cry. See your own genitals mutilated and stop. Sober up. How did a part of Nairobi come to be named Kosovo? or Nahau... Kosofo...Mpesa. Poverty is not about lack of money, also in the settlements there is money. It is about how ideas are organised to oppress or liberate.
Invited to the Mladinsko Theatre in Lubljana, nothing could have prepared my mind for what was coming. It was a morning special show for writers from various countries under the ICORN programme. I was happy to attend the annual meeting again. I enjoyed my train ride to Lubljana via Vienna. I posted a photo of the rails to Fb. But the drama post on my mind remains. Drama that refuses to be unfelt by the amnesia poured in the world. The answer you will hear more often now when you point out issues is that weak and defeated 'it happens everyhere..' and a shrug of shoulders like your country is nowhere.
So then, on a seemingly happy morning we sat outside in a lovely garden. Celebs, unknown, just people as others joined and people tend to gather naturally without class and roots and differences, until power decides no. In works of writers, this is how it should be. We will gather - even if only heaven knows how. We had breakfast and were cautioned that the play was strong. On needed to be braced oneself up for it. We were busy chatting to cross bridges of isolation. We heard that Theatre travels to many parts of the world but that in some people are unable to watch it because there are scenes so powerful, they fled the halls. In reality there is no line between cast and audience. You do not know how it happens. I stayed.
Still I thought it could not be worse than what made over half a million Internally Displaced Persons flee in Kenya and why 1 333 maybe more died. Why millions in Syria, Iraq and Iran leave their homes. Why I feel that no part of the world is that safe and that material wealth is meeting a pure lack of values and critical thinking where it is to be found. Did you know you must leave your comfort zone in yourself, that hedge that a poetry character called Wacũ, in some poetry posts I made is always cutting, the place where you do not care for values and where you abuse, kill and punish in private before you are out in public? Dialogue. Search. Sheha rugiri rwaku. Cut that hedge and speak to it truth in your Mother Tongue. Languages are not meant for division.
Still we writers sat and heard and looked at books around us displayed in the garden outside the Theatre. We went to the door of the theater and got earplugs. I do not thinking about surgeons, the way we were getting prepared had a streak of something of an operation atmosphere, some sterilisation of equipment? Wires looked like stethoscopes. Internal sounds? Auscultation? Breathing? Hearbeats to check? Who was to think beyond that. Why? We got cushions. Some of us thought these people really care for writers. Cushions sometimes precede terrible repercussions!
We got settled in our seats and sweet music began. It was now clear to me. We in the world are steeped, most of us, in incredible hig doses of anaesthesia. Ears are blocked by power. We dance to the same news day in day out. We do not hear. We have earplugs on most of the time listening to music. The more the world is troubled, the more my neighbor, the more I shield myself and talk to myself on public transport, especially in Europe and America?
Gunfire, Explosions and people cry
And long before our layers of thoughts, poetic inspiration, vanities could peel off, long before we fell out of the philosophical tea before still cobwebs in the mind, the gunfire exploded, so loud and even smelt so real, the first writer left the theatre. He comes from Somalia. It smelt real he said later. And he cried. Others are crying too. Somalia borders Kenya. I stayed on. But those 'shot' dead in the audience and on stage were still alive. They stood up. They came back on stage. One by one standing in a slight crescent curve to the inner stage, they stood in silence.
They started with the eldest. A man in his 60s, I think. Next was the youngest. Also woman. They tell me this is typical of drama here but I know its effect is meant to be atypical. Each part of his clothing he took off as if it was a holy garment. All clothes were taken off. In utter silence. Naked he stood there. Like Jesus on the cross? Kenyans would have even had the chance to check on Foreskin! But No! Before you condemn nakedness. By itself it never harmed anyone. More writers left. They felt their religion was injured. But had we not come to watch a play? The drama had a soul-peeling effect. And the cathartic effect leaves you ready to see yourself but you have only just began.
Roles are reversed. Your clothes were also being taken off in the realm of your imagination. Your soul. Were you ready to see it? How often have you called another name for their color, tongue or religion. Anyway you did not have to have called names... just felt that they were 'the other'? You could sweat with all your pores, sweat blood but the cast was not over on stage. The Agony in the Garden? The Place of Skulls, Rwanda? It included you. Swept you right in and not in the way you are used to it...
Some were already weeping in the audience. I was one. The light is suddenly turned on you, a pistol ... fire! Why are you there weeping? you hear. A man in the audience is the focus now. He cannot move. He hears how he raped a woman. How he removed her clothes.. how you .. how you... how you... How he... He is shot again and naked words of the four letter words are the compliments to those who had gone to the Theater to cry. You ff....ing fools! Someone else leaves from the audience. It is best to be alone. Conscience is disturbed and disturbing.
"And you... you C....t! Why are you crying? It is always easier to be on the side of the ones who weep... like around the cross they stood weeping... and you hear again...and now you are no longer a part of a 'holy' crowd.
"You? Where were you when they were slaughtered.. " Now you think they know your name and your address. They are relentless. Some more people walk out. The details on how many actors and authors committed suicide after being in that theatre acting were enough were they not? Is there any acting to be done in a country that kills and kills and hosts the virus of greed and tribalism without reserve. The viruses for which none must wear a mask?
When a country, a people hate one another because of being overpowered by power, they need to know one thing. It never ends. It is about resources but you end up tied with acrimony, calling one another names, completely engaged in the wrong game. A non-forgiving game. Nobody survives a broken nation to succeed. In the end, the betrayer is betrayed and all are eaten up. There is no safety in evil. Only in confronting it. This is drama like I never saw it before.