How do you deal with an inherited history that is full of complexity? Theatre maker Ogutu Muraya reimagines James Baldwin’s Princes and Powers, an essay which describes in great detail a congress of Afro-intellectuals, writers, artists, philosophers and theorists, at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1956.
Weaving together literary text, video and storytelling, the performance embraces a multiplicity of perspectives, historical archive materials and personal experience.
Examining the legacy of the congress, the performance shifts perspectives, seeking a new vocabulary for dealing with uncomfortable truths.
“The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do… And it is with great pain and terror that one begins to assess the history that has placed one where one is, and formed one’s point of view.” – James Baldwin
“Despite the unconventional nature of Fractured Memory and the simplicity of the performance, its real value is transmitted by powerful images and Muraya’s voice. The audience finds themselves submerged in the diverse stories and captured by every word of the diverse narrations. The poetic language evidences Muraya’s talent as a story teller and serves as a tool to transmit the realities of a culture that might be unknown for some.” – Humanity Hallows
“Ogutu is a compelling storyteller… A multi-layered and highly textured collage of film, photography, poetry and sound, which effectively showcases Ogutu’s impressive range of skills. While those who enjoy realism might find the delivery a bit too fragmented, the strength of the formal innovation in this thought-provoking piece makes it worth piecing together” – The Manchester Review