Friday, 8 August 2014

How time flies..... The last full day for the workshop - 8 August 2014

Today is the last full day before the performance on Monday at 11am.  We will meet at 8.30am on Monday to rehearse the performance, so I needed to get through everything today that I wanted to accomplish.

This was a handover day when the young people started to lead and work in small groups to present their findings to me and the rest of the group. 

I started off with an examination of Sath's Cooper's 'Bible' choice from Hamlet:

This heavy-headed revel east and west
Makes us traduc’d and tax’d of other nations;
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and indeed, it takes
From our achievements, though perform’d at height,
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
So, oft it chances in particular men
That, for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As in their birth, wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin;
By the o’ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason;
Or by some habit that too much o’er leavens
The form of plausive manners – that these men,
Carrying, I say the stamp of one defect,
Being nature’s livery or fortune’s star,
His virtues else, be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as many may undergo,
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault.

Saths says this about his choice:

I choose this passage because it taps into the issue of betrayal that we find between older and younger generations of the Liberation struggle. This betrayal has left our generation rudderless.  This choice of this particular passage in Hamlet reveals the duplicity and the playing of different kinds of roles that we see going on Robben Island.  For me, and I think for most of my comrades, to do that means compromising our integrity and giving up any sense of responsibility for our own condition; responsibility for rising above the condition and for leading ourselves out of that condition.  Some of that is hinted at in this passage.  

I asked the students to reflect on the monologue as well as this part of Sath's inteview on why he chose this particular passage.  I asked them to update the monolgue as those it is written by an early 21st century young person in South Africa.  After a bit of confusion over what was being asked of them, I asked if any of them had ever written poetry or a piece of creative writing.  Very few had, but now that they knew what I was hoping to get from them, they came up with four beautiful and critical pieces of work.  They too will be performed on Monday.

I then asked them, in small groups to reflect on the following two statements and come up with the answers to them:

What are our ethical principles?

Why is it important to have these principles?

I also asked them, 'What does it mean to 'hold yourself to account'?' And 'why is that important?'

These findings will also be presented on Monday.

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