Table of contents of issue no. 121 (Dutch/English)
- The Look of Silence: spreken of zwijgen?
- “Voor westerse ogen” of American Sniper van Clint Eastwood
- Coming home
- Interview with Luk Perceval, “Als de mensen het vergeten zijn, moet je hen een geweten schoppen”
Portfolio: Faces, places, heirs: The “memorial archology” of photographer Tomasz Kizny
Interview: Jochen Gerz “De naam is vaak het allerlaatste stukje van de weg die de herinnering aflegt”
Dossier: Extreme violence on stage
Kun/moet je (in) Auschwitz spelen? De weergave van de Holocaust in Kamp van Hotel Modern [Can/Should you play (with) Auschwitz? The representation of the Holocaust in Kamp by Hotel Modern] (Charlotte Bouteille-Meister)
In their theatrical performance Kamp, the Dutch company Hotel Modern refuses to comply with the tacit prohibition to represent the Holocaust. They put on stage a small-scale model of Auschwitz, which is inhabited by small puppets. Playing (with) Auschwitz makes the artists and the spectators understand, through the experience of the performance, what makes the Holocaust a “human” act.
Interview met Guy Cassiers
Zef Bunga heeft Anne Frank gekust: representatie van geweld in het Nederlands jeugdtheater [Zef Bunga kissed Anne Frank. The representation of violence in Dutch youth theatre] (Cock Dieleman & Veronika Zangl)
This article focuses on the analysis of the Dutch youth theatre performance Anne en Zef (de Toneelmakerij, 2009) by playwright and director Ad de Bont. The authors explore both the position of the performance within the discourse on the representation of Anne Frank and her diary, and its contribution to the tradition of representation of violence within Dutch youth theatre. The performance challenges several taboos concerning the representation of the Holocaust. Rather than an attempt to portray the ‘real’ Anne Frank, the performance can be understood as an accusation of the way children fall victim to acts of violence.
The (im)possibility of theatrical representation: Reflections about dramatizations of the Rwanda genocide (Klaas Tindemans)
This contribution focuses on the representation of the Rwandan genocide in four theatrical productions: Rwanda 1994 (Groupov/Jacques Delcuvellerie), Rwanda Revisited (Hans-Werner Kroesinger), Hate Radio (IIPM/Milo Rau), and The Monument (Isôko/Jennifer H. Capraru). They all relate to the domain of memory and trauma but configure different relationships between the individual and the collective victim, and between survivors and perpetrators. Also, using various and diverging scenic and dramaturgical strategies, the tension between document and testimony, on the one hand, and fiction and theatralization, on the other, is always sensible as a problem of representation. It is this tension which determines, to a large extent, the position of the spectator who needs to assess the ethical significance of the representation.
Interview met Dorcy Rugamba
Remembering scenes of violence: stylization and abstraction of violence on stage (Emma Willis)
This essay examines what experimental theatre and dance uniquely offer to the task of representing violence. The author reflects on a series of scenes to illustrate how theatre is able to simultaneously stage multiple temporalities where representations of violence can be imagined, enacted and remembered at the same time. Unbounded by the conventions of linear dramaturgy, experimental performance is particularly adept at such temporal dramatic manipulation. The essay illustrates the manner in which live performance is able to set violence beside itself through complex compositions of time and action, and considers the ethical implications of this for spectators.
- The Truth Commission According to Chokri Ben Chikha. Performing Differential Futures from a Traumatic Colonial Past (Christel Stalpaert & Evelien Jonckheere)
With The Truth Commission, a performance that premiered in 2013 in the former Court House located at the Koophandelsplein in Ghent, Flemish theatre maker Chokri Ben Chikha examined and testified to the cultural trauma of the exhibited “other”. With this performance, he aimed at highlighting the mechanism of stereotypical images of the black “other”, in particular the Senegalese people, and the humiliating discourse that is entangled with the phenomenon of the human zoos. By using the format of a truth commission to unwrap the cultural trauma of a colonial past, Ben Chikha not only questioned the mechanism and the structure of cultural stereotypes, he also critically investigated the particular ways in which truth commissions tend to deal with cultural traumas. In this contribution, we discuss the artistic strategies of the performance in relation to recent findings in postcolonial studies and trauma studies. Particular attention will be paid to two important paradigm shifts, namely the post-narrative shift on the one hand and the post-postivisit shift on the other hand.
- Between word, image and movement: performative critiques of colonial ethnography (Yvette Hutchison)
This paper is concerned with contemporary artistic engagements with colonialism, particularly ethnography. It offers an analysis of two performances, The Truth Commission (Action Zoo Humain) and Between Words and Images (Ernestine White and Toni Stuart), that challenge the hegemonic processes through which nations define themselves. By creating an aesthetic that actively involves spectators and mobilizes a repertoire of embodied performance forms (dance, drumming, song, poetry) in relation to archives (documents, art, artefacts), both productions destabilize fixed narratives of the past, and assess the impact these narratives still have on present value systems and future policy.
- Kunst moet schuren. Interview with Chokri Ben Chikha (Evelien Jonckheere)
- Blockade (blokada)
- Censorship under the Franco regime
- The first concentration camps
- Kazerne Dossin
- Rwanda’s gacaca courts
- Self-narratives under communism (mainly USSR)
- Soviet famines
- Memorial site: El ojo que Llora (Mylène Herry)
After the internal conflict in Peru (1980-2000), the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) published their Final Report in 2003, revealing that 70,000 people had been killed. Today there is a need to construct a collective memory of this catastrophe, aimed at national reconciliation. One of the most emblematic memory sites is El ojo que llora (The eye that cries) in Lima, which commemorates all victims of the war but gave rise, over the years, to many controversies and political debate. The Peruvian people are divided between, on the one hand, the imperative to recognize and repair the years of terror and, on the other hand, the tendency to reject or even deny the Truth that is promoted by the CVR.