[putting together materials for the audience. an opportunity to go back to our earliest statements of intent.]
Our mission is expansive but our action is precise. Soulographie is simple, ultimately, because it is everything. It is everything I know to do; it moves at and through the limit of the resources we’ve gathered (material, personal) as a group. Our goal, or even, in the Ignatian sense – the end for which we are created – is to connect ideas and people in circles of inclusion centered on that which is most vulnerable to exclusion, to historical annihilation.
The scripts have been evolving for 20 years; the Soulographie ensemble has been in intense workshop since 2010. This production brings us all to a place we have never quite been before.
Genocide is the violation of history – killing is not its sole or even ultimate aim – it wants to destroy a culture in ways so florid, so shaming on all sides, that the identity of a people can’t cohere even in recollection. Culture workers participate in genocide; it will take the witness of cultural workers to help in healing. These plays do not offer programmatic solutions, or uninterrupted streams of information. Their purpose is more primary: to accept and be with the reality of genocide from various perspectives – geographic, temporal, class, victim, perpetrator, bystander…
Playwriting has always been an unsolvable problem for me; genocide is an irresolvable object. Sometimes it takes a broken shoe to fit a broken foot. Theater’s loose ends and available center are well matched to a subject that will not be fully located, or known, in a complete way. The 20th Century was the age of genocide. If the 21st Century will be the age of ecology (as it has to be – the age of interdependence, of knitting/re-knitting together), then there must be due commemoration, a spiritual frame for loss. Otherwise the loss will be denied, or repressed, and will poison our wells.