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CAN WORDS KILL?

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Author: JT Comms
Date: 1 Nov 2013

42_20140129153635

CAN WORDS KILL?
Hate radio revisits the most horrific chapter in Rwandan history
the reconstruction ofan rtlm genocide radio show is touring south africa and mozambique

JOHANNESBURG DATES:
OPENING SHOW: 13 FEB / WITS Theatre / 19.30 / FREE on RSVP
PANEL DISCUSSION: 14 FEB / WITS Amphitheatre / 15.30 / FREE on RSVP
ADDITIONAL SHOWS: 14 – 16 FEB / WITS Theatre / 19.30 / www.webtickets.co.za

MEDIA: For opening and panel discussion please RSVP to pr@johannesburg.goethe.org

The critically acclaimed theatre production HATE RADIO of the International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) will be staged at WITS Theatre on four nights from 13 to 16 February 2014. The play engages with the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Within a tour organised by the Goethe-Institut and Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, HATE RADIO will be presented for the first time to audiences in Southern Africa, with Cape Town and Maputo also hosting the production.

In cooperation with Drama for Life, a panel discussion on 14 February at WITS Ampitheatre will raise questions concerning the present-day relevance and forms of appearance of racist violence, and its representability in art.

Based on extensive research and interviews with about 50 contemporary witnesses of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the script for HATE RADIO is primarily based upon excerpts of real transmissions made by the popular Rwandan radio station RTLM, which has gone down in history as one of the most cynical propaganda instruments deployed during the Rwandan Genocide.

If one had looked for a simple and effective target to prevent this atrocious crime against humanity”, the US journalist Philip Gourevitch wrote, RTLM would have been a good start. With indescribable cynicism, the employees of the popular broadcaster masterminded an advertising campaign for genocide for months. The schedule consisted of pop music, exciting sport reports, political pamphlets and incitements to murder, the scornfulness of which could not be surpassed. The grooves of the latest Congolese bands and the most aggressive race theory came together inside a few square meters and formed a dark laboratory of racist ideology.

HATE RADIO allows the inflammatory Kigali radio station to return to the airwaves again: within a reconstructed radio studio that is only separated from the viewers by glass walls, a good hours’ broadcast from RTLM is being re-constructed on stage and transmitted to each audience member’s headphones. The radio hosts – three Hutu extremists and the white Italian-Belgian Georges Ruggiu – are being interpreted by actors some of which were affected by the events themselves.

However, viewers do not only get confronted with human beings being “talked out of” their humanity but, at the same time, they will become sympathetic witnesses of the destructive and indelible consequences: During the performance, the walls of the rebuilt studio serve as projection surfaces for a video installation showing selected stories of former perpetrators and victims, assembling original material from RTLM, texts from extremist publications and witness statements into a complex mosaic that deliberately explores contradictions. Says Rwandan actor Dorcy Rugamba, a member of the original cast: “We are provoking, in order to provoke and spark a catharsis”.

In association with WITS Theatre. No under 16's. French speaking with English subtitles. Free parking is available in Senate House; the entrance is on Jorissen Street, Braamfontein. Visitors are requested to bring their driver’s licence or ID in exchange for headsets.

CAPE TOWN DATES:
07 / 08 / 09 FEB / Hiddingh Hall, UCT Campus / 20.00 / FREE
in cooperation with the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA)
021 480 1756 / fin-gipca@uct.ac.za / http://www.gipca.uct.ac.za/

MAPUTO DATES:
20 + 21 FEB / Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano (CCFM)
in cooperation with the Instituto-Cultural-Mocambique-Alemanha (ICMA)

FOR VISUAL REFERENCE, VIDEO MATERIAL AND INTERVIEWS PLEASE CONTACT:
Ben Keuffel
Goethe-Institut South Africa
pr@johannesburg.goethe.org
Phone: 011 442 3232 / Cell: 082 769 3254

www.goethe.de/johannesburg
www.prohelvetia.org.za
www.dramaforlife.co.za

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