I also felt it was important to show that these people held many similar beliefs and traditions and ways of life and the main difference between them (the Hutus and the Tutsis) are their names, and so show that their conflict was pointless. Perhaps it also shows how people can turn in on their own kind because of these attributed differences which have no physical or even cultural correspondence. Furthermore, I felt it important to show the historical context of the piece and the influences of Western powers upon poorer African nations.
After the Treaty of Versailles, Rwanda was under the command of Belgium who promptly gave all of the power positions within the Rwandan society to Tutsis whilst the Hutus had the lower skilled jobs and perhaps even felt sub-human. Over the next 60 years the tensions between the two groups would build up considerably until the early 1990s when the President was shot and all hell broke lose, with hundreds of bodies laid strewn across roads. I contributed significantly in many different ways towards my groups piece.
Firstly, I suggested that we should have a very stylistic scene to end with which highlighted symbolically the rift between the two groups and also showed how that rift could close. I thought this could be done by spacing each actor on the stage and have them individually explain their story and their troubles and then have them turn into each other whilst the Hutus claim that they have differences and the Tutsis do the opposite before being shot to the ground due to the momentum of the Hutu uprising.
Secondly, I also suggested that we should use a naturalistic scene to begin with, of a married couple eating dinner in order to allow the audience to connect with the piece on a normal emotional level rather than having to get inside the head of say a political leader, which would be far more complex/harder to comprehend. The narrative of our story does not string together and instead gives three different view points: that of a married couple, powerful political leaders and a group of normal people off of the street.
So in the first scene we see what the effects of the Genocide are on the married couple and how it causes them to lie about who they are in order to survive, but then we see how this fails miserably as the Hutu army storm in, drag away the wife, presumably to be killed and hold the husband to the floor with a gun. In the second scene we see a political debate taking place between the Tutsis and the Hutus. Both groups want to remain in control but the Hutus explain that their majority will enable them to squash any opposition.
In this scene the historical context explained previously in this evaluation is also explained. In the third and final scene, we witness the thoughts, feelings and stories of four normal Rwandans and how one side want to emphasise the differences and the hate whilst the other side emphasises how they both have virtually no differences and should just get along in harmony, before the Hutus explain that they cannot stop now, due to the momentum of the Hutu uprising.
Our performance begins with a husband and wife about to sit down to a meal together. The husband, Sentwali, is standing by the window, looking out of it with a worried expression on his face, whilst the wife sits at the table asking him why he wont come and sit down to eat. To convey worry, I tensed the muscles in my cheeks, scrunched my forehead a little and also raised my chin a little. At times I also let my mouth drop slightly and let my eyes wander off into the distance to show that my thoughts were overriding me.
I also held my hands on my stomach and didnt stand up straight to show that I wasnt feeling well as a result of what I thought was going to happen. I replied in a hushed tone, with a bit of a stuttered edge to it, saying, Ive got a bad feeling inside¦ There not here yet but they will be soon. I then went and sat down where my wife and I proceeded to discuss what we had seen around the village. Hopefully all of this would have indicated to the audience that something bad was going to happen, and make them nervous as to whether or not these people would also be killed.
I then went on to say how I had received false ID papers so that we could hide our identity and pretend were Hutu. I said this with an urgent look on my face, sometimes scrunching my forehead to show confusion at my wifes shame of rejecting her true identity, and at other times I pursed my lips and raised my cheeks and scrunched my chin (which also caused my eyes to look desperate) in order to convey my desperation.
By now I wanted to audience to be thinking like me and really wanting the wife to go along with the plan. She then broke down into tears and I went over to her and hugged and comforted her by which time there was a loud knock at the door. I wrapped my arms even more tightly around her and told her to keep silent and not move, coupled with the worried look on my face hopefully held the audience at the peak of tension as the fate of these two people is decided.