Theatre for survival: art of creation and protection (Kubunda)

Breed, Ananda (2016) Theatre for survival: art of creation and protection (Kubunda). In: Performing (for) survival: theatre, crisis, extremity. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 37-56. ISBN 1137454261

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Abstract

Tutsi artists-in-exile sought to use performance as a mode of cultural survival, both to preserve Tutsi culture in the countries of refuge and to fuel a militaristic return to Rwanda, 'the land of milk and honey'. Performance was used to survive displacement and to create a utopian vision of Rwanda, the ancestral land that many young Tutsi refugees had never lived in nor experienced. Artists took refuge in neighbouring countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at various historical points when Tutsi were hunted down to be killed, including 1959, 1973 and the genocide against Tutsi in 1994. In this chapter, we examine the function of culture during the Tutsi diaspora between 1959 and 1994 and, subsequently, in post-1994 Rwanda to argue that survival mechanisms that were effective in certain conditions may be dangerous when transferred to a new setting. That is, while the performances constructed by Tutsi artists-in-exile functioned as a mode of ethnic survival, the persistence of Tutsi cultural forms in performances that are now intended to perform an ethnically neutral 'Rwandanicity' may actually jeopardise lasting peace.

Keywords:Performance, Exile, Diaspora, Culture
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:31704
Deposited On:17 Apr 2018 11:51

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