The Huffington Post reported last week on new study findings that said that more than 80% of young people cannot name a single genocide since the Holocaust in World War Two. For our South London secondary schools tour this term we're performing a play by Debbie Tucker Green called Truth and Reconciliation. The play is made up of five glimpses into post conflict situations in five different countries. I play a Zimbabwean woman dealing with the consequences of 'saying something' about her experiences.
I learnt a bit about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission during a history lesson on Rwanda back in secondary school likewise with some other genocides/conflict. However it wasn't until I began my research for the play that I gained a more in-depth understanding on what had gone on in these countries. For example, I never thought about how truth and reconciliation in extreme circumstances might be seen as ineffective.
Watching the documentary film 'Mugabe and the White African' where the white farmers had their farms taken from them because they were white, which resulted in many black Africans losing their jobs, helped me figure out what exactly it was that my character might have had to 'say something' about. (Zimbabwe)
Getting ready to rehearse/perform this play has made me more interested in these issues and how these countries are doing post-genocide/conflict. I've been asking friends who have families that live in Zimbabwe to tell me more about what it's like and not simply relying on the news alone.