Date(s) - 14/10/2015
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
From the Yemeni production of ‘Mother Courage’
Photo Credit: Benjamin Wiacek
Date: Wed, 14 October, 5:10-6pm, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, G2, 19 George Square
Guest Speaker: Dr Katherine Hennessey, Global Shakespeare Research Fellow, University of Warwick
‘Liberating the South: Yemeni Theatre and the British Occupation of Aden’
There is a rich history of theatre in southern Yemen in the decades preceding the Aden Emergency (1963-67). After independence, a series of south Yemeni ‘plays of the revolution’ set in Aden and the Protectorate at the end of the British era repeatedly depicted British military figures and their allies as stock villains. Overall, however, the relationship between the British occupation and the history of Yemeni theatre is much more complex and symbiotic, linked to the cosmopolitanism of empire, the establishment of local British schools, and the importation of British media infrastructure.
In more recent years, as the southern secessionist movement has gathered steam, some southern Yemeni artists have returned to the theme of the British occupation of Aden, but with a contemporary twist: as an allegory for the exploitation of southern resources by the government in Sana’a.
Incorporating video footage of an interview with one of Yemen’s foremost female theatre directors, this talk will explore the lingering legacy of the British occupation of Aden as it relates to politics and performance in southern Yemen.
The talk was followed by a reception.