Representing the Unrepresentable: A Critical Analysis of Staging Genocide

Justine T Moelker
2013
This paper explores the theatrical staging of genocide using Julia Kristeva's theory of abjection to highlight the impossibility of understanding and fully comprehending genocide. Traditional staging methods typically use a cohesive narrative structure which limits and edits the event to provide a stable conclusion. The debate of representing genocide does not centre solely on why one tries to stage these events but has shifted to emphasize how and if these events can be represented. Many
more » ... e groups recognize the benefits of nontraditional staging methods. Groupov's Rwanda 94 (2000) highlights the inability of the abject to be performed and the impossibility of containing genocide by the length of the production as well as the integration of several art forms. In the exploration of visuality in Hotel Modern's Kamp (2005) the challenges of representing pain and violence are foregrounded. The ability to view the Holocaust is impacted by the intersection between film and the use of small puppets. Acknowledgments There are always vast amounts of people who support a master's student during the copious time spent writing, editing, and waxing poetically about the trials of graduate life. Unfortunately, it would be impractical to thank everyone but here's a shot. Thanks to my parents who have supported me from afar and reached out in encouragement through letters, emails, and long phone calls. I would like to thank Piet, my supervisor, for inspiring this dense topic and working long hours to help complete this work. To Sarah who suffered through dramatic videos, books stacked on the kitchen table, wine nights, and long chats about genocide. Cheers to John and Melissa for being able to vent our woes and celebrate our successes. It wouldn't nearly have been as enjoyable without you. The Department of Drama for supporting the endeavours of graduate students and especially, Ruth, for being patient with us all. Thanks to my committee members: Piet, Donia, Carrie, and Sandy. To my friends and family: Mum, Dad
doi:10.7939/r3x11z fatcat:dovt44cr5fc35kium36seomc24