Play mirrors State brutality

Tafadzwa Mutumbi

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

A local play — There Is a Field — whose focal point is the shooting of a Palestinian-Israeli peace activist, Aseel Asleh in 2000, to reflect on Zimbabwe security forces’ brutality and the national healing discourse, is set to premiere at Theatre in the Park in Harare from today until Friday.

Written by Jen Marlowe, the play fuses traditional music, dances and costumes as well as physical theatre to create a beautiful package.

Play director Tafadzwa Mutumbi told NewsDay Life & Style that the play gives pathway to the audience so that they clearly explore the Zimbabwean situation.

“It’s essentially a story about State security’s brutality based on a true story of Aseel who, at 17, was shot dead on October 2, 2000 by Israeli security forces.

“Themes raised by looking at his life and murder enable audiences to further explore the connections and build solidarity across universal struggles for liberation and equality,” he said.

“The play is a daring, poignant and provocative meditation on the meaning of hope, justice, healing and being human in the face of police brutality, State impunity and apartheid. It offers a uniquely personal lens for understanding inequality as the root of State violence and impunity.”

Mutumbi said although it is a Palestinian story, it reflects on both the past and current situation in Zimbabwe, especially on how the government silences opposing voices using its brutal security arms.

“The play encourages us to look at ourselves. If you watch it and it does not captivate you, it means you will not be paying attention. It offers a new lens on national healing by focusing on families of the victims. How does the family deal with the situation? It’s personal, but wider in a way. There are so many wounds that need to be healed. Zimbabweans have plenty of wounds that need healing. No one is ready to clean the wounds for proper healing. That affects communities and families,” he said.

Mutumbi said State brutality was prevalent even under the new dispensation, adding there can never be positive political and socio-economic transformation in the absence of national healing.

The cast includes Eyhara Mathazia, Nyaradzo Nhongonhema, Stewart Sakarombe, Ngoni Chikowore and Munashe Goromonzi, with music done by Brezhnev Guvheya.

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