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Drury’s Metadrama: A Disclosure of the Concealed First Genocide

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2020, 33(3), pp.41-68
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : November 15, 2020
  • Accepted : December 14, 2020
  • Published : December 31, 2020

Kwak Jin-A 1

1강원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims at exploring the meta-dramatic elements of a concealed history of the first genocide conducted on the Namibia Herrero people in the 20th century, as dealt in Jackie Sibblies Drury’s play, We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915. The meta-dramatic elements to be discussed in this play are the lines that reflect actors’ self-consciousness and a type of a play within a play which consists of dramatic forms, “Process” and “Presentation,” which recreate the hidden death that is eluded over as history is canonised. Unlike conventional diaspora plays, Drury traces the forgotten historical truth by exhibiting the actors’ improvisations. In the scene of “Process,” actors continue to improvise with lines that reflect self-consciousness, revealing stereotypes about race in the role of the German/Herrero. In the scene of “Presentation,” the improvisations actors reproduced in “Process” are repeated and modified, showing the violence caused by racial prejudice. The stage called “Processtation” is the point where the boundaries between “Process” and “Presentation” are broken and the place where the audience face inconvenience. In the scene, actors are immersed in their roles as oppressors and victims, creating a dramatic situations. The stage is a space encountering the tragic history and recognizing the violence of implicit bias. This play, which reveals the meta-characteristic nature of Drury’s dramatic world, draws attention to how we narrate and learn history, going further from the historical drama that discovers African characteristics and the concealed history.

Citation status

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.