SENEGAL-RWANDA-THEATRE / A play on the Rwandan genocide presented in Sorano – Senegalese press agency

Dakar, May 27 (APS) – The play ”Wipe your tears and stand up!”, performed this Sunday at the Daniel Sorano national theater in Dakar, is ”a weapon to combat negationism and forgetting” , declared its author Jean Marie Vianney Rurangwa, a Canadian originally from Rwanda, the country at the center of this play because of the genocide of the Tutsis of which it was the scene in 1994.

”It’s a play against forgetting, negationism and against revisionism, because there are many people, for example descendants of the genocidaires, who start to deny it, to revise it,” declares -he.

He believes that this show, which relates the Rwandan genocide perpetrated from April 7 to July 4, 1994 with more than a million Tutsis killed in one hundred days, is “a weapon to combat negationism and people who want to relegate this memory to the oblivion of history”.

In several paintings, Jean Marie Vianney Rurangwa tells in a gentle way a cruel reality, this human atrocity perpetrated in a country which, once, was considered ”beautiful as a paradise”.

Director and actor in the play, he asserts that the roots of racist ideology bled the social fabric of the Rwandan people dry by generating pogroms perpetrated against the Tutsis in the 1960s.

The show, lasting more than an hour, focuses on the genocide, and describes the horrors on pregnant women, children, the elderly and the entire Tutsi population.

Jean Marie Vianney Rurangwa underlines the “strong resilience” demonstrated by the Rwandans. ”Because like the phoenix of the legend, they are reborn from their centers and are doing everything so that never again is it an empty slogan,” he says.

The play was performed by 14 actors, including three women, across various artistic genres such as poetry, singing, theater and slam. A deliberate choice by the author who believes that it was important, given the harshness of the subject, to hook people to the end through the songs, the music, the slam.

The play ”Wipe your tears and stand up!”, created in 2002, was performed in Dakar as part of the commemoration of the hundred days of the genocide perpetrated thirty years ago, explains the Rwandan ambassador to Senegal, Jean Pierre Karabaranga.

He emphasizes that the piece, which is more than 22 years old, is very well known around the world for having been performed almost everywhere.

Mr. Karabaranga recalled the excellent cooperative relations between Senegal and Rwanda, in the presence of the chief of staff of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, El Hadji Tanor Gningue.

”This very high quality performance took us back to a painful past that the artists called on us to assume with responsibility. +Wipe your tears and stand up!+ is quite illustrative of the resilience mentality of the Rwandan people,” said Mr. Gningue.