There is great poverty in Zimbabwe and the regime seemed unable to create an effective and consistent policy against it. The population was trying to keep its spirits up within the boundaries of a system that intimidates, uses violence and restricts the freedom of opinion, free press, the right to vote and the right to protection by the rule of law. The population has little or no means to develop themselves within the boundaries of this system, they are Living in a Box.
We used theatre as a means to engage with this social issue. The visualisation could lead to recognition, identification, and also revive a sense of community.
Wanda Meeuws, a young Dutch theatre director specialised in youth theatre, worked with the youth group from Amakhosi in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and in addition, a group of 5 young actors from our partner organisations in South Africa and Namibia, joined the working process and play together. The play was performed in the Bulawayo-region and afterwards, toured in South Africa & Namibia. The play showed young people using boxes in a metaphorical way to visualize their environment and personal experiences.
What is the meaning of this box to them? Is it a shell to hide in? Is it a shield, to protect? Is it a set of rules? Limitations? Borders? A safe place for them to create an imaginary world? Living in a Box is a fast, sharp and diversified cut and paste play in which words are mixed with sound and visuals. We used the personal stories and experiences of the young actors, as well as estranging effects like the way Brecht did. The play was truthful and critical but left enough space for the audience to draw their own conclusions and interpret it in their own way.
Partner organisation: Amakoshi
Place: Bulawayo Zimbabwe
Director: Wanda Meeuws
Local artists: 9
South –South: 3 (South African)
Target group: General audience
Finances: ICCO, Theatre Embassy
Theme: Political suppression
Cancelled because of political treat