The Ghosts of Slavery in Contemporary Theatre from the Francosphere

Finburgh Delijani, Clare. 2022. The Ghosts of Slavery in Contemporary Theatre from the Francosphere. L'Esprit Créateur special issue, Replaying the Francophone Early Modern in the Twenty-First Century, 62(2), pp. 32-49. ISSN 0014-0767 [Article]

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This article examines two theatre-makers who, in recent years, have provided counter-visibilities to the official erasure of history, placing centre-stage what philosopher Achille Mbembe defines as one of the defining moments of modernity: slavery. To make present this absence, both Cameroon-born author Léonora Miano's Révélation (2015) and Guadeloupian performance artist Stéphanie Melyon-Reinette's Kepone Dust (2020) employ ghosts, haunting, and spirits. Ghosts reveal how the repression of history and the impunity of criminality cannot prevent the past from being replayed. With reference to Rebecca Schneider's notion of making the past present during the act of live performance, the article examines how this new generation of theatre- and performance-makers replays history to stage a present haunted by trauma. At the same time, this replaying constitutes an affirmative means to enable restitution.

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Theatre and Performance (TAP)


13 July 2022Published Online
July 2022Published

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22 Aug 2022 08:13

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23 Sep 2022 09:00

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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