Koichi Iwabuchi, a professor of media and cultural studies and director of the Asia Institute at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has published a new article. His piece, Pop-Culture Diplomacy in Japan: Soft...KEEP READING
Liberian Girl at The Royal Court Theatre
Between 1989 and 2003, a civil war tore Liberia apart. More than 200,000 people were killed, a million others displaced and an estimated 15,000 children forced to fight in the conflict. Liberian Girl, a new play by British Nigerian playwright Diana Nneka Atuona, is framed against the horrific backdrop of this war. The performance is set in the year 1992 and tells the story of 14-year old Martha, a child soldier who pretends to be a boy in order to avoid sexual assault or death. Atuona’s play, which opened in January at the Royal Court Theatre in London and has sold out at all its venues across the UK, raises awareness about the incomprehensible levels of violence, suffering and mistreatment levied against women and children during that time.
Below are two videographic representations of Liberian Girl. The bottom video was created in December 2014 as a trailer for the play's release in late January 2015. It offers a moving portrayal of Martha's transformation from girl to child solider to victim. The second video was filmed during the play's run at the Royal Court Theatre in London. This latter video reveals the play's unique structure: there are no chairs for the audience, no traditional stage for the performers. Rather, to view Liberian Girl is to partake in the experience, blurring the lines between actors and audience, reality and fiction, time and place.
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