31 August, 2018 in Reviews
A review by Monique Grbec
The Fall is an inspiring finale to the Arts Centre Melbourne’s Big World, Up Close series. Written and performed by seven students from the 2015 #RhodesMustFall revolution this piece of documentary theatre recounts the events that led to the removal of the University of Cape Town’s statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes. Go Team!!!
The heart of the work is in the language. Not the English of the Eurocentric colonisers but the universal languages of melody, of stamping feet marching en masse, and click-snapping fingers of agreement; of transportative song and young people standing strong and orating in tribal dialects. While they march and sing and speak of burning hearts and sweating bodies goose bumps chill my body. I feel hope. This song of dance with its heartbeat of drumming of feet is waking up the land, shaking loose the shackles of the slave masters… taking ownership. Their music breathes for me.
The Fall and #RhodesMustFall revolution shows the roaring power of intersectionality. Only together can we get stuff done. Sure, there are moments of struggle and members step away from the group but they come back. They come back united in their common goal to decolonise South Africa.
I want this. “Nothing about us without us,” – if the Australian government continues to ignore the obvious, I want our new envoy Abbott to respect his role. He must follow historical facts and remove all statues around Australia that honour men responsible for murdering First Australians. Can we intersect with the mass of oppressed Australians and demand this? Can the strength we take from this symbolic win follow through to reducing incarceration rates and hold authority responsible for deaths in custody?
The Fall, at Arts Centre Melbourne, 28 August to 2 September, 2018.
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