Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lights, Make-up, and Jazz squares.

      Being in London has really opened my eyes to the uses of theater and how I have interacted with it in my recent years. I have had many conversations with the other people here and them talking about how the shows that we are seeing are stimulating the creative juices in them. I am not sure if that is true for me.

     I have definitely enjoyed seeing all the shows we have gone to, in a way I think it has done the opposite to me. I came here thinking to myself that there was all this theater that hasn't been created and how we needed to start creating so that more and more people are being seen on stage. After the shows I have seen I am not sure it that is true anymore. Being in the UK has made me aware of all the shows that are doable by different types of people round the world. Sitting listening to representatives come and talk about the work they do at the Globe Theater really impresses me. To see that it is very expansive to more than just one audience and type of person really makes theater a universal language in a way to me.

    They use theater to reach out to their communities and get them involved more and see the importance of it, which is amazing to me. This makes sense why people respect and appreciate the actor more here. They are also more flexible with casting here. Never in a million years would I have expected to see so much representation on the stage of a theater. Here I feel so removed from many  of the issues of the America and the American stage. This then makes me think is this all a distraction or is this a possible reality of what theater could and should be?

   I think that in America it is possible to have such a diverse theater and for it to mean something more than just for the entertainment of the people. I think that if American theater can take anything from British Theater it is that the ticket prices don't need to start at $300 in order for the theater to make a profit. They could also loosen up a bit when it comes to casting and take a chance with a person that is unknown or make a statement with cast a woman in a man's part or racially different casting. This way that stage would represent the world that we are living in.

 I have been entertained and pushed as an audience member and I think that the shows that we have seen are a great reflection of what London is in the present time.

After seeing the show that was Imogen which was another show well done, all I could say was

Come one London!!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mindset and Set Minds

     It has been interesting to be in London and learn about their history, specifically their history with slavery and what was to come after it. Through our classes we have read two books that have been our new introduction to a mechanical system used to build the wealth and prosperity of many countries.
     Slavery has already been taught to us as children in Grade, or as some may call it Grammar, school; but as we grow up we are taught many different things about why it really was created and why it took so long for it to be abolished. While reading the books Oroonoko and The History of Mary Prince, both the authors pain a very clear visual of what slavery was used for and how it effected both the white and the black community. 
    The use of slaves has been implemented countless civilizations, but the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was a different beast.  This was not only about free labor but in a way the eradication of a race of people.
  The enslavement of the, what we now know as the, African people has had a certain affect on the people of the time and generations to come.
   The dominance of one culture over another that took place and set the course for many of the issues that we are dealing with today. In the minds of whites during slavery there was this power that came with their position in the newly created world. While reading the book The History of Mary Prince it was easy to see this in the many different masters that Mary had. The wife of one of her masters named Capetian I, was very cruel to her. This had me think about why this would be useful to anyone; as a slaver owner there has always been this feeling of the slaves would try to over throw you. So then the whites had to go out of their way to make sure that blacks knew their place. This meant that they had to show their dominance over the slaves. Mary recalled a time when her masters wife whipped her because she told her one of the jars had broken and the wife whipped her for relaying the information. One of her first masters beat her almost every day to make sure she knew who was in charge. Once he even made his son watch, after reading this I thought to myself that this is how the idea of slavery kept on through the generations. Acts like this are what teach children that they are more than the slaves and give them privilege.
     Slavery was the creation of white privilege and the starting steps for all it will be used for in the creation of new countries. This is what is being passed down to each generation of children and teaching how to keep their control over slaves.

   The slaves on the other hand are being taught the opposite. In the book Oroonoko, the main character tells a story of the African slave that was A prince of a nation. This prince was tricked into slavery and in the book you see his transformation from nobleman to slave. He and Mary Prince both in a way loose their humanity towards themselves. In Mary Prince when she refers to either herself or other slaves she compares them to animals or property that is meant to be bought and sold at the drop of a dime. When Oroonoko's rebellion was stopped and he was captured he was butchered like a cow. Shopping his arms and legs off, bleeding him out and decapitating him. Mary Prince tells us the story of her family being split apart and separated at the auction block. This forces the people to start to form extended families to care and nurture for each other. They were mentally and physically abused and bound. They were shackled and treated harshly, many a times the slaves were even humiliated in public while being sold. They were stripped of clothes and showcased for all the men at auctions to see. This treatment has taken such a tole that remnants of it all are felt today. You have people that are bound by the government and who think that where they are is the only place they will go. The minds of blacks was broken, it had to be that was the only way to keep slavery on going. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Warrior Within: a trip to the International slavery Mueseum

Going to the International Slaver Museum was an Eye opening experience. There was so much history in those rooms that there were many times when I had to sit and think everything that was in the museum and how it all has led to me being where I was. I have nothing but gratefulness after visiting, In this assignment I will be reflecting on the trip in a story. for the class. 

The Warrior Within
As I walked through the museum I couldn't hep but think what story would be told of, if it were the future and the it was stumbled upon this exhibit. It came to me that they would see the different objects that caught my eye and think to themselves that the people that were enslaved were a strong people. From the women to the men to the children the first thing they will see is their culture. The art work that was created in the time before they were treated like cattle. These Strangers will look at their craftsmanship and know that these were very skilled people. The doors were carved from trees and stone each of the designs that was a representation of the status of the family. The more intricate the better the status of the family. The culture is deeply rooted within in the ground that surrounded them and just like the door is deeply carved in the wood, the culture of the people is carved deep within them. Their true nature was not to be captive people, not to be treated as cargo, property, or animals. They were warriors, princes, mothers, daughters, queens and kings and this does not change even if you are put into captivity.  

The warrior spirit was so strong that there had to be a way in order to break that soul. We talked about how when enslaving a people it is common practice to hold power over them in every way possible and in order to break the warrior spirit they had to show that they held power over the African slaves. One way that they did that was through the art work. On the vase below there is a picture of a slave that is serving the master. Having pictures, scriptures and a society built upon white supremacy is one of the ways the masters kept the slaves in the slave mentality. This repetition of how the master is better than the slave is how they broke the warrior spirit within the slaves and they were able to have control over them. Of course there were other ways they broke the spirits of the slaves like beating them into submission and embarrassment in front of other slaves.  

Even within captivity their warrior spirit was not completely broken  or gone. They learned to preserve it and to keep it within themselves. Through the hard times they drew from the strength of the warrior to help them fight on when it seemed like they could not fight anymore. This replenished their being giving them hope and a fighting spirit that they used to get their freedom later in history. The guest will come across the video section and they will hear the stories of the slaves trying to escape. This will be a testament of their strength at the end of the video they will hear the lady say "We were Africa in the beginning, we will be Africa in the end."  This phrase means that no matter what they go through they will always be true to who they are. This is a key phrase to the whole exhibit, this shows the warrior spirit to the fullest. They will fight to preserve their identity.
  This is even seen in modern times through the people that are not inhabitants of America. They hold close to the traditions and the the history of their people to show honor to the ancestors that have come before. They keep the warrior spirit going and living within themselves and the history of their lives. This is key for moving forward, staying true to the culture that many have tried to strip away and change.
This is the story that any visitor will gain from visiting the museum a story of survival, strength, and courage. They will truly find the Warrior within.