Presented by | Diffusé par: Canadian Stage Company
Presented by | Diffusé par: Native Earth Performing Arts
Presented by | Diffusé par: Volcano Theatre
Berkeley Street Theatre
26 Berkeley St.
$350 | 350$
In this project, international award-winner Odile Gakire Katese, a giant of Rwandan performance, will take participants through a process of self-examination, imagination, letter writing and performance. This project is designed not only to give participants a sense of how Ms. Katese constructs art from both memory and pain, but also to become part of a global artwork that she is creating in 100 countries worldwide. The Book of Life is a multi-component initiative designed by Ms. Katese as a way of helping her country heal from the 1994 genocide. Expanding into realms of publishing, film, radio, theatre and dance, the project has at its core a collection of letters written to the dead. Ms. Katese has spent several years soliciting letters from both survivors and perpetrators of the genocide, and, increasingly, from people around the world – the idea being that memories of trauma need to be actively brought into an affirmative realm through an act of imagination. The act of writing a letter creates a space of creation in the wake of death, trauma or tragedy. This act can then expand into other forms – turning isolated grief into collaborative life.
“The one thing that seemed to hurt Rwandans the most was the fact that the victims were dead and nothing else,” Ms. Katese has said. “What if we could create a very symbolic way of keeping in touch and, in this way, somehow bring peace…“ This is about memories that reconcile you with yourself, it’s a kind of memory that appeases your pain, and brings to life the victims… because I think that, over time, if we only tell the story of how they died, we kill them again and again.”
Participants will work for six afternoons with Ms. Katese on imagining, finding and crafting words to those who are gone. These letters will then be the building blocks for a performance on the 6th day as part of the Book of Life.
This workship is part of the Native Earth Performing Arts Theatre of Upheaval series. For registration and more information visit nativeearth.ca.