On October 27, 28 & 29, 2010 at 8pm AfricAvenir presented the world premiere of the theatre play Traumatism by the Beninese director Ousmane Aledji and his company Agbo-N’Koko at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Ousmane Aledji – one of the most important directors in West Africa – and his company Agbo N’Koko will be in Berlin from October 25 to 31.

Is it possible to celebrate 50 years of African Independence? What has happened since? What has become of the Pan-African visions of Césaire, Lumumba, Nkrumah? With Traumatism Ousmane Aledji artistically takes stock. Sarcastic, sometimes resigned, then again angry, explosive, fierce, he stages the collective memory of the ‘little people’.

Inspired by Aimé Césaire’s works, Traumatism combined theatre with live video projection, dance, and hip-hop. This rhythmic interaction of metaphoric words served as a medium of learning about Africa and enables the valorisation of historic knowledge. Ousmane Aledji proved once more that he does not stage any folklore. His theatre is a theatre of urgency, subtle and direct at the same time – a really contemporary work.

Aledji writes about Traumatism: “How can one be optimistic when one is enraged? Is it possible to talk about independence without reminding colonization? Thus, is it possible to talk about colonization without becoming irate? Is it possible to create a new future without facing one’s past?”

In opposite to literature, the theatre scene in Berlin and Germany is not yet open to African theatre. African creations are only presented at very special festivals. This is why we are even more glad to present Traumatism, the latest opus by one of the most brilliant and independent dramaturges of the African continent.

This article was originally posted at Pambazuka.org. Reposted with permission. Read the original article.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.