Coen Welsh | Aug 9, 2017 | 0
Stage play remembers the time in Germany
Venue: Oshakati Multi-Purpose Youth Centre (ALL SHOW FREE)
Dates and time: 2 September 11:00 School Show
2 September 19:00 Public Show
3 September 14:00 Public Show
Entry: All shows are free
Venue: National Theatre of Namibia in Windhoek
Dates and time: 07 – 10 September 19:00 Public Show(N$50,00)
Dates and time: 08 and 09 September, 10:00
Bookings: eventstoday. com.na, Warehouse Theatre, Biltong Shop Meaura Mall, NTN
In 1979, when the German history started for the Namibian refugee children from Angola, the term DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) was somewhat acrimonious, especially in the conservative West Germany. Yet, history have overtaken this separation but intricately entwined with the German division, and later reunification, is the story of the Namibian children who grew up German. This story is now retold through the eyes of the actual children, now all adults, who returned to Namibia, together with their teachers, in 1990.
In 2012 Project Leader, Anja Deu of the Osnabruck Theatre in Germany met with Sandy Rudd and proposed the idea of a joint production with the College of the Arts (COTA) and Osnabruck theatre to present the story as a joint project. Funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation supported by the German Embassy and The Goethe Institut, the dream became a reality.
In February 2015 at COTA Theatre School, the two directors Gernot Grünewald (Germany) Sandy Rudd (Namibia) met up with over 15 GDR children, interviewed them and came up with a concept for the production. The main thrust of the production would be focused on life in the castle and the Namibian story would focus on the stories of the youngsters coming home.
The process was extremely difficult and painful at times as the story is ongoing. Whose story do you tell? How do you tell 2 000 stories in 2 hours? Some stories are very heartbreaking and some were a triumphant over adversity and most were a sad reflection of their past. Racism, intolerance and narrow-mindedness were at the order of the day. In the end, the story is told in a disciplined docu-drama style. On 18 December 1979, the first group of about 80 children arrived in the snowy winter in Berlin. Some were between the ages of 3 to 5 years old. It was agreed that German should be the medium of instruction for them in Pre-Primary and Primary School. Between 1979 and 1988, 430 children went to GDR.