THEATRE

 

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Walk:South Africa. Photography by Catherine Trollope

 

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A Response To Chimamanda Adichie’s Short Story Miracle.

Written for the theatre adaptation

Perhaps to exist here is to exist in observation and only in God’s time. Everything is done in bulk. In routine. In groups. The only time constant and revered is the holy day and godly hour. The dreaded Sunday morning, morning prayers, and Easter. Perhaps, you are lucky if you get “the next day, or months later”. Perhaps, to understand what it means to be here one must question as little as possible, replicate and be content with the outcome of ones actions and those of others. Here, obedience is better than sacrifice. Better than isolation. Here,  conversation is like giving directions to the building behind you by praying in tongues. And praying in tongues is a language that is expected to be understood by all. And if you do not understand you observe and replicate. Nothing is ever still, not even the mind when in slumber. Ones feet are restricted to the inside of a bible, the market, your own house and the palm of the wealthy. Against the backdrop of raised hands, bodies, slayed in the spirit-piled on the altar and amen-there is no room for freedom of self-expression, cultural exploration and the manifestation of individuality.

There is privilege and there is God.

Perhaps, when you have there is no need for faith, or belief or dependence or an external un-graspable source. Belief is an ideal all have access to, and doubt is a luxury some cannot afford. Perhaps to question, or to retaliate here would be like drinking purged backwash and eating borrowed things. There is recall and there is the present tense, where things appear and disappear as vapor does in sunlight. Here, emotion is consistent but thinking is sporadic. Here, mothers suffocate their daughters. Here close family members are saviors. Here fathers are absently present. Here, faith separates a mother from her womb. And if you were not observant, it may have seemed without warning or apology. But it had been coming, lurking like an anticipated prank, a sworn payback, not in jest but in malice. “boo!!!” Waiting around the corner for the perfect moment, when one least expects it. Perhaps the predictability of lifestyle, of choice, of belief, of system, of want, of desire, of need, of politics, of time, is the thing that propels those who are less inclined to believe or latch onto faith, to swerve, and duck and inevitably die whilst living, here.

All here.

 

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