The People Woke Up
Scottish Storytelling Centre
29th Sept, 7.30
We were very warmly welcomed to the stunning play ‘The People Woke Up’ which was an evening organised by the Story telling company Ice& Fire. Working on the basis of its commitments to human rights Ice&Fire are successfully bringing trauma to theatre. In the evenings consort stories were shared as an international Belarusian presence were given a warm and supportive salute from Scotland who seem to be able to step in as a free speaking country which is a help in a big way.
Listening to these true stories of incidents in the ‘Occupied’ Belarus take-over, I found the influence and relationship between Belarus and the UK was of saving grace, urgency was the message. Human rights were focused in the use of theatre, offering great promotional potentials of travelling the globe.
The 4-person panel play of true stories in the events that happened in 2020. As the stories unfolded the message echoed through the room. The sold-out evening (thinking maybe it being better with fewer ears, minds and hearts to change) was to give Belarus a voice as it was hit in 2020 by the shift from democracy for a dictatorship when a rigged election brought about the rise to this elevated position that would last 27 years, for Alexander Lukashenko.
Living through nothing less than a dangerous environment, we realised that every important step towards reunion for Belarus cannot be done in one go after the currents of devastation that seem to have no end to. The force of flight has shown a light of hope for Hanna Komar who is a Belarusian Poet and an exemplary student on PHD status. Of all the four’s stories which were all true but those told by Hanna were of her own account, witnesses one and all.
Things are on this catastrophic level replacing humans with machine’s, unemotional and without mercy; The words of the play, asked for time to allow things like reflection and raising of concerns of very deep thoughts that have culminated into looking towards finding a manifestation for what was termed a collective healing. After being forced upon them it is now their time and place to free its people from the aggression of oppression.
The story goes; at first a great spirit arose in reaction during that year, but the feeling soon turned to the despair. The state of things setting the play to push for help. In the hope of freeing everything that Belarus is, Hanna’s incentive as an activist was suddenly devastated in her surprised realisation that things could go so wrong. It was her who, in a moment of the eye of a storm, noticed that ‘the People Woke Up.’ This evening created a small but soulful cry for all the action now needed with a new platform to express the real education that communities have found at the heart of shock.
This unrequested understanding on everyone’s face’s made possible for people and actions given a placed and time for a performance that had to be of strength to be amazed by, turning action into soothing talk about the disbelief that is now unavoidable.
Belarus sounds like a vibrant, richly cultured destination with a great many things to offer, but aid is now needed from the rest of the world but how do we go about it? At least this little simple gesture of a chance to share is a show of solidarity, to help herald a place in a bad position, but making things change was the highlight of this remarkable play.