Staged Reading: Yesterday, Tomorrow

“Yesterday, Tomorrow” is based on Nuruddin Farah’s book, Yesterday, Tomorrow: Voices from the Somali Diaspora. It is a portrayal of the personal stories of people who, due to political instability in postcolonial Somalia, find themselves forced to flee their homes, cross borders and become refugees. The individual stories and subtle portraits of the countries of exile create a moving image of life between different worlds.

This piece premiered at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin on December 2, 2009.

Adapted by Amy Evans and Grada Kilomba
Directed by Grada Kilomba
Performed by Michael Edode Ojake and Araba Walton

Playwright Amy Evans seeks through her work to critically examine the impact of displacement, alienation and political violence on the human spirit. Her first play, Achidi J’s Final Hours, was inspired by the true story of Mareame N’Deye Sarr, a young woman who was killed in a confrontation with German police in Aschaffenburg in July 2001. Her newest play, The Most Unsatisfied Town, based on the death-in-custody of Oury Jalloh, was completed while in residency at the ICI Berlin earlier this year.

Grada Kilomba’s literary works explore the fields of memory, trauma and post-colonialism. Among others, she is the author of Plantation Memories (2008) a compilation of episodes of everyday racism written in the form of short psychoanalytical stories. Currently she is a fellow at the ICI Berlin, where she is writing her new book Kalunga based on the Orishas and the post-transatlantic experience of fragmentation, loss and colonial convalescing.

Michael Edode Ojake (actor) was born in 1961 in Lagos, Nigeria. He was a production assistant at the National Theatre in Lagos and studied Acting at the Academy of Theatre and Film in Sofia, Bulgaria. Since 1990 he lives and works in Berlin as an actor, director and author in film and theatre.

Araba Walton (actress) is a German actress and singer. She worked for five years with a number of theatre companies in London, until an engagement with the Musical ‚The Lion King’ brought her back to her home country. Currently she has a capital role in the movie ‘ Berlin Calling’.

Born in 1945 in Baidoa, Somalia, Nuruddin Farah was sentenced to death in absentia for political reasons in 1976. After spending many years in exile in Africa, Europe and the U.S., he now lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He is the winner of the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Literature (1998) and a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Blood in the Sun trilogy. His work has been translated into 17 languages. Knots is his latest novel.

Friday, 9 July 2010 at 19:30

ICI Berlin
Institute of Cultural Inquiry
Christinenstrasse 18 – 19, Haus 8
D-10119 Berlin

Images by Birte Zellentin, courtesy of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.