In Performance: A Selection– PDF
Seagull Books and History for Peace present a specially prepared volume available only on our website: a selection of five plays from Seagull’s ground-breaking ‘In Performance’ series, which bring forth poignant stories from five regions with complex histories of violence—Bosnia–Herzegovina, Cambodia, Palestine, Poland and South Africa.
In Catherine Filloux’s play Silence of God, the protagonist asks Hait ay? (Why?) during a face-to-face meeting with Pol Pot, the perpetrator of one of the most heinous crimes of the twentieth century—the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia in which nearly a quarter of the population perished through torture, summary execution, forced labour, malnutrition, and disease.
Lara Foot Newton’s Reach tells the story of an elderly white South African woman living in a rural part of South Africa, near a former ‘blacks only’ township, and her hesitant yet lively relationship with a young black man who visits her. The play delicately problematizes a lawless South Africa lurching towards an uncertain future without the ‘rule of law’.
In Yasmine Beverly Rana’s The War Zone Is My Bed, the iconic bed is the critical space where all confrontations, dialogues, silences and emotions unfold. It is also the space of storytelling, of stories by or of women living through oppression, violence and atrocities—from the Bosnian War to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Magda Fertacz’s Trash Story is a play about wartime trauma. A Polish family has to come to terms with the PTSD of a son who served in the Iraq War, and with the fate of a grandfather who is a former inmate of Auschwitz. Their house is haunted by Ursula who was hanged at the end of the Second World War by her own mother, rather than be raped by Red Army troops.
And finally, The Gaza Mono-Logues is a performance text that grew out of children trying to reconcile their experience of the the Gaza War of 2008 and heal. Despite the trauma of the war, the play—that collects 31 real-life testimonies—is not a dirge; rather, it is a celebration of human survival and regaining of agency in life.