At the request of KVS-director Michael De Cock said director Raven Ruëll this week, ‘the life and works of Leopold II’, after the eponymous play by Hugo Claus. This led to the premiere in 2003, barely controversy, but that was this week.
The piece of Ruell from 2003 is a satirical portrait of Leopold II and the Belgian colonial history. That piece was then (and now) under a blackface staged – a colored man played by a white guy by means of make-up. In 2003, passed it unnoticed.
But after seeing Ruëlls director, canceled the Kenyan dramatist Ogutu Muraya prompt its piece of Fractured memories that this weekend in the KVS would play and he turned immediately back to his home town of Amsterdam. It is a painful decision, especially in the context of a focus programma that it ideally wants to have about dekolonisering.
Also a journalist Gia Abrassart of Café Congo, a Brussels-based organisation committed to the Belgian-Congolese history, and even current KVS-playwright Tunde Adefioye reacted very upset.
‘This satire is a pseudozelfkritiek on the colonization, ” says its train. ‘It gives no voice to the colonized victims. The only black actor in the company may barely a word to say and is reduced to a sexual being. There are also blatant degrading images. Imagine that this is about the Holocaust. The dominant, white public fed up with these stereotypes to laugh, while I cry was near. When Claus this text in 1970, wrote the spirit of the times otherwise. Now you can get this piece do not increase without a mandatory pedagogical framework that goes beyond an informal discussion. That is what we have demanded from the KVS. But you could also wonder whether it is even possible: such a performance show in the house where on the same evening artist Rhode Makoumbou a statue to Lumumba inhuldigt.’
Criticism of royal family
The Cock has understanding for the pain that its train not only in their own name and share, but remains the revival and director Ruell defend, which is not reachable for a comment. ‘The life and works of Leopold II was at the time shown in Kinshasa and New, where each was a success. Claus continued with this piece the royals in his shirt. It is a pity that criticism is not picked up in the satire that Ruell has made. It is clear that the spirits fifteen years after the premiere have matured and that I can only encourage you. But the context in which the art is still free? No, I would personally not blackface use in my performances, and Ruell, perhaps, not more. But for him, this was a first step to decolonization, just like Claus, that in his time also did.”