Confronting Postcolonial Trauma for the Purpose of Creating Trauma Based Plays in Africa and the Diaspora

Isi Agboaye

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This paper explores issues raised in the first chapter of my doctoral Thesis (Agboaye, 2018), based on the exploration of Postcolonial Trauma in Nigeria as stimulus for creating new Plays. The study theorises that trauma-based notions gleaned from postcolonial terms may be useful for creating and reflecting on traumatic conditions in new trauma-based plays. This paper therefore argues that that exploration of terms and meanings associated with postcolonial trauma are capable of stimulating ideas for playwriting which may be useful for explaining and interpreting the effects of lingering traumatic experiences in my part of Africa, being Nigeria. It is also anticipated that the reader may understand the impact of postcolonial trauma from the lens of definitions that are linked to purported lingering traumatic conditions associated with colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, dependency, centre-periphery concept, trauma memory and others. Thus, the exploration of such postcolonial terms within a playmaking context, reiterates Gray and Marlins’ (2016: 2) thoughts, that ‘We learn most effectively by doing – by active experience, and reflection on that experience,’ which explains the essence of applying trauma based notions inherent in postcolonial terms in the creation of trauma based plays. 

KEY WORDS: Postcolonial Trauma, Colonialism, Centre-Periphery, Individuals, Collectives, Neo-Colonialism, Decolonisation, Dependency and Trauma plays.


The main argument of this paper is that it is possible to write new plays specifically referred to as trauma-based plays, based on meanings harnessed from postcolonial terms (See the Table, Agboaye, 2018). The Table is therefore a source for interpreting and understanding the purported trauma-based notions embedded in the postcolonial terms which are useful for making trauma-based plays.  In exploring the content of the Table therefore, it may be argued that specific postcolonial terms are consistent with notions that explain postcolonial trauma (Kershaw and Nicholson, 2011: 89). Also, the characters in the proposed trauma-based plays may be identified as real people, whose narratives may be associated with the centre-periphery frame and real experiences of pain linked to colonial dominance in Africa. The term ‘colonial dominance’ may begin to suggest that there were incidences of trauma that are worth recording in new plays, useful for interpreting or understanding the displacement of cultural values associated with traumatic conditions inherent in sources that highlight testimonies and the memory of traumatic conditions (Gilbert and Tompkins, 2002: 2) (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2000: 186). 

For the purpose of understanding postcolonial trauma, it may be useful to begin to theorise with the core-periphery concept, as a lens for understanding issues in the typical African nation touching on a typical circle. Within the circle, it would be imagined that there are characters who are advantaged and those who are disadvantaged; all affected by conditions purportedly induced by colonialism. Those in the centre or the core of the circle may have acquired power and authority while those in the periphery may be described as those who are associated with deprivation and poverty. It would be assumed that deprivation and poverty may be prevalent because the nation may not be truly independent as a result of the activities of colonial and neo-colonialist elements. The trauma-based plays to be created may give the impression that such negative colonialist activities which occurred in the past may potentially be ongoing; thus, strengthening the need for new plays that may be useful for explaining and understanding the traumatic conditions suggested by the explored postcolonial terms and meanings represented in the circle.

Relating postcolonial terms to praxis

In relating to the table, the first row demonstrates how postcolonial terms are useful for understanding the cultural difference between the Africans and the colonialists. Also, embedded in the terms are notions that reveal the importance of knowing about colonialist exploits, oppression and trauma in Africa. The postcolonial terms highlighted (Agboaye, 2018) reflect how notions of trauma embedded in them show how the individuals and collectives may be affected even in the created trauma-based play.

Table 1 (Agboaye, 2018).

Terms for identifying the perpetrators of postcolonial trauma in Africa   Colonialism  Neo-colonialism Imperialism    The concepts are useful for understanding the cultural difference between the ‘Africans’ and the ‘colonialists.’ They are useful for knowing about colonialist exploits, oppression and trauma in Africa.
Terms for understanding the conditions of Africans after ‘Independence’   Postcolonialism Postcolonial trauma  Decolonisation    These terms are useful for understanding the notion of ‘independence’ in Africa and how the individuals, collectives and nations have been represented in postcolonial texts. 
Terms associated with the outcomes of colonialism – being postcolonial trauma Centre-periphery concept  Dependency  Hybridity  Mimicry      These terms are useful for understanding the outcomes of colonialism on individuals and collectives in Africa.
Terms for identifying trauma in Africa and understanding the focus of praxis  Trauma Wound Trauma plays  Trauma narratives Trauma memory    These terms are useful for understanding the presence of trauma elements in the explored texts. They are also useful for understanding the importance of the dramatization of trauma.

It would be noted that the postcolonial terms highlighted in the Table may be perceived as a resource pool for creating play plots in which traumatic conditions are applied. Also, the first row explains the need to for the playwright to understand the difference between the perpetrators of traumatic conditions and the individuals and collectives who are affected by traumatic conditions. The ability to differentiate the traumatic conditions may be linked to the understanding of the embedded meanings in terms like, colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism although such terms create the impression that the perpetrators of traumatic conditions are mainly from European nations. Within this context, a source like Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, (1958) suggests that traumatic conditions may also be blamed on indigenous folks who may be located within the proverbial circle mentioned earlier.

The second row pictures how the nature of independence gained from the colonial masters may be understood, revealing how terms like postcolonial trauma and decolonisation may be useful for explaining negative traumatic conditions associated with the feeble independence of African nations. This may also reveal how individuals and collectives have been mirrored in postcolonial texts – especially when viewed from the prism of what true independence connotes to the African against the backdrop of conditions that are contrary to true independence. The new trauma-based plays may find meanings in notions that show that, although individuals and collectives in the African region of the world may have gained independence, there are still elements of trauma associated with their purported freedom as indicated in experiences and narratives in postcolonial texts that highlight their traumatic conditions (Achebe, 1958).  Also, the second row is useful for identifying how specific negative colonialist activities in Africa may be useful for developing trauma-based plays, touching on plots, characters, settings and other relevant aspects of the play that reflect traumatic conditions of individuals and whole communities who are still going through the lingering effects of colonialism.

The third row highlights issues that would enable the playwright or play maker to further relate to notions like, the Centre-periphery concept, dependency, hybridity and mimicry, being useful terms for understanding and explaining specific conditions that individuals or collectives within a setting may be going through, and how they might be dealing with such traumatic conditions among other collectives. Also, the term hybridity and mimicry may indicate how the characters in the proposed trauma-based plays may be associated with the insidious conditions reflected in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958) and Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman (1975). It would be necessary to see if the new characters would be able to challenge the negative situations occasioned by colonialism albeit in their new or borrowed language. It is anticipated that the trauma-based plays would contain traumatic structures reflecting a sense of chaos or anarchy. There, individuals or collectives may be reflected by the proposed playwright as having lost nearly all elements of their identity as highlighted in the postcolonial terms engaged. It should be noted that events in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman are near copies of the traumatic conditions suggested in the trauma-based plays.

The fourth row shows terms that are useful for identifying notions of trauma in Africa and understanding the intended focus of praxis. Thus, terms like, wound and memory, seen from the context of the individuals and the collectives are useful for highlighting the testimonies of whole groups of people bound by common insidious conditions. It is anticipated that the playwright or play maker may create plots in which whole communities may testify about traumatic conditions, touching on felt issues and the impact the purported testimonies would have on the development of the communities. In all these, purpose is the fundamental essence of the suggested plots; and the characters made to testify may have compelling testimonies that explain the embedded notions of trauma, revealing ramifications of the new plays and the postcolonial term engaged in the proposed play. This means that, the proposed plays are capable of mirroring issues that affect the people through uncovering and interpreting issues associated with those in the imagined circle (Kershaw and Nicholson, 2011: 89). It is in doing this that the notion of trauma becomes clearer, especially when integrating the postcolonial terms related in the Table. As the playwright plans the plot, it may also be necessary to create characters that specifically interrogate or reflect on the effects of the postcolonial terms on the psyche of the individuals and collectives, touching on the African epistemological context.

Reflecting on postcolonial terms within the context of praxis

In creating the trauma-based plays, the playwright or play maker may focus on the period when Africa was occupied by colonialist, clearly differentiating between the periods of colonialism and neo-colonialism (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2013, 177-178). It should be noted that the term neo-colonialism (new colonialism) is associated with the first President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah (2013, 177-178). Thus, the playwright or play maker, apart from interrogating Nkrumah’s perspectives, may also explore reasons why the colonialists did not permanently vacate the nations of Africa; thus, necessitating notions associated with the decolonisation of the mind (Ngugi, 1988). Also, the playwright may interrogate why colonies were acquired by imperialists as colonies for economic advantage in the first place. Moreover, the implication of the suggested ownership and subsequent subjugation of the collectives (seen in previously mentioned sources) may be useful for understanding the notion of postcolonial trauma and the framing of the new trauma-based plays. It may also be necessary to explore the term postcolonialism for the purpose of understanding ‘the effects of colonization on cultures and societies’ (Gilbert and Tompkins, 2002: 2) (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2000: 186).  Equally relevant for understanding Postcolonial trauma is Ifowodo’s postulation on Postcolonial history, perceived within the context of the history of trauma, which he relates to corruption in Africa (2013: 131) but may be inferred as a normal way of life in the new plays. Such postulation, which may be seen from the prism of traumatic conditions, may not necessarily be hinged on corruption solely.  In other words, corruption may not necessarily be the main issue plaguing Africans, considering the meanings extrapolated from some of the postcolonial terms explored which may not be necessarily connected with corruption.

The prospective playwright may also like to reflect on Stef Crap’s statement on ‘postcolonial Witnessing’ which touches on the compartmentalisation of trauma as ‘first and third world traumas’ or ‘traumatic experiences of members of non-Western cultural traditions’ (2013: 3), showing that trauma may be seen from a universal lens. This identifies with Crap’s opinion on ‘Trauma theory’s failure to give the sufferings of those belonging to non-western or minority groups due recognition’ (2013: 3).  Therefore, the playwright or play maker should capture images of the ‘suffering’ identified among the non-western (African) minority groups, associating such to the postcolonial terms explored for the purpose of crafting trauma-based plays. The playwright or play maker would also find more resources in the following ideas reflected by Crap, like, ‘alternative conceptualisation of trauma,’ ‘insidious trauma,’ ‘oppression-based trauma,’ ‘postcolonial syndrome,’ and ‘post-traumatic slavery syndrome’ (2013: 4). Such experiences may be associated with ‘suffering’ in the Nigerian and African contexts, highlighting how individuals and collectives respond to what Crap refers to as ‘ongoing, everyday forms of traumatizing violence’ (2013: 4). Such notions may also be associated with past activities of colonialism or present day new-colonialist conditions (Henry and Menestrel, 2009: 49).  Also, meanings may be found around Frantz Fanon’s research on mental health professions, which touches on the ‘psychological effects of racism and colonialism’ (2013: 4).

Equally relevant is the need to explore Ifowodo’s postulation on Soyinka’s perception of trauma, reflected as the dramatisation of the ‘cataclysmic moment of contact between the indigenous community or nation and the colonizer’ (2013: 19), which is analogous with the ‘awful foreboding’ of trauma, which Soyinka explains as ‘a world wrenched from its true course and smashed against alien boulders, leaving its inhabitants floundering in an ominous void’ (2013: 19). The notion of the floundering of inhabitants in an ‘ominous void’ is also related to Ifowodo’s notion of postcolonial trauma, ‘as the chthonic realm’ (2013: 19) which touches on traumatic conditions, from which the playwright or play maker may frame meanings related to the traumatic conditions of individuals and collectives within Africa.

The playwright or play maker may also understand that, Achebe’s Igbo nation in Things Fall Apart may be closely associated with Soyinka’s notion of a ‘world wrenched from its true course and smashed against alien boulders,’ (2013: 19) considering how colonisation interrupted cultural progress and affected collectives in varied forms. In other words, the playwright begin to explore how colonialist ‘interruptions’ may be associated with present day neo-colonialist ’interruption of cultural progress’ and to discern if the African world is still being proverbially ‘wrenched from its true course,’ and wondering about ways and manners that the African world is still being ’smashed against alien boulders.’ Thus, trauma-based plays may tackle the inherent metaphors in Soyinka’s statement, thus, reflecting the essence of decolonisation,whichsuggests ‘revealing and dismantling colonialist power in all its forms’ (2000: 63). However, the new play plots should recognise that the process of decolonisation is akin to Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s notion of how ‘African intellectual interventions’ may be shaped (2013: 58); touching on the notion that ‘Africa is a continent that suffered and experienced multiple levels of subjugations and denigrations that affected its identity formation and ways of knowing’ (2013: 58). Therefore, the new plays must be poised to shaping new ways of knowing and recognising elements of subjugations and denigrations. It is anticipated that the articulation of subjugations and denigrations by the playwright or play maker may reveal traumatic conditions and experiences of individuals and collectives in Africa; thus, providing ways of knowing or understanding postcolonial trauma. Moreover, such experiences or conditions may provide pathways to the content and context of the proposed trauma based plays crafted for the purpose of decolonising perceptions, seen in the context of ‘the shaping of the content of African intellectual interventions’ mentioned earlier by Ndlovu-Gatsheni.

Reflecting on the integration of colonialist ideas in the new plays 

The playwright or play maker may also draw meaningsfrom the impact of colonialism, touching on the cultures, history and politics of previously colonised territories in Africa (Cuddon, 2014: 550). Edward Said’s discourse, based on ‘Orientalism,’ also addresses ‘cultural legacies of colonialism’ (2013: 120). The playwright or play maker may draw meanings from such reflections which are centred on the awareness that past colonialist activities are linked with the subjugation of colonial subjects (2013: 120). Also, Homi Bhabha, reflections on hybridity, identity and culture (1994), and Gayatri Spivak, reflections on the ‘subaltern’ (2013: 120), which echo notions of colonialist oppressions and the lingering memory of real people may be useful. This is because they contain the experiences of those who resisted the negative consequences of colonialism (Abigail Ward, ed, 2015). 

The playwright or play maker may find that David Lloyd, (2000), and Ward’s (2015) definition of trauma reveal ‘violent intrusion’ by colonialist agents; thus, suggesting the aggressive violation of individuals and collectives. Such real experiences are analogous to Ifowodo’s notion of trauma being the ‘untreated wound of history’ (2013) which may be associated conditions of the characters in the trauma-based plays. Equally relevant is Huggan (2013: xci) and Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s (2013: 42-43) suggestion on how individuals and collectives are understood within the context of colonialism, which may be related to how the characters in the new plays may be seen in the context of postcolonial trauma. Also relevant is Gena Degel Caponi’s notion of the ‘circle’ (1999: 9) which touches on how the centre and the periphery may be construed within the context of postcolonial trauma. This is particularly useful for explaining Caponi’s notion of group rituals in Africa, performed in circles which purportedly kept everybody actively involved (1999: 9). The proposed playwright may infer meanings from contrary conditions where colonialism relegated African identities to the periphery as pointed out by Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2013: 42-43).  

More on the impact of colonisation

The playwright or play maker may also be interested on how ‘colonialism created dependency of the ex-colonized societies on finished products manufactured by ex-colonial powers’ (Ndlovu-Gatsheni, 2013: 42-43). Also, meanings may be drawn from Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013), who believe that, ‘Dependency theory offers an explanation for the continued impoverishment of previously colonised ‘Third World’ nations (2013: 42-43). This means that a term like the circle may be associated with dependency and capitalism. It’s also important to look closely at Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin’s notion that the colonialists established ‘colonies of producers of raw materials and foodstuffs for the industrialized metropolitan centres’ (2013: 42-43). Equally important is the idea that the economic policies of the colonialists facilitated the retardation of the industrialisation and development of these regions (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2013: 77). It is therefore within the background of the notion of ‘retardation’ highlighted (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2013) that postcolonial trauma may be understood – touching on the impact of such colonialist or neo-colonialist policies on the weak periphery, while the centre continues to wax strong in the hands of neo-colonialists and agents of colonialism (Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S.J. 2013: 44). In all these, the new plays mayfocus on the implicit and explicit meanings inferred from relevant postcolonial terms which may determine how the anticipated plots and characters may be manipulated in the proposed trauma-based plays. 

The new plats may explore notions of hybriditywhich is indicative of ‘racial mixture … expressed in such labels as mulatto, cross-breed, and half-breed’ (Ansell, 2013: 79). What might the proposed playwright learn from instances of mediocrity which may have been induced by impressions created by the neo-colonialists and colonialists? (Ansell, 2013: 79). It may also be important to focus on issues that show instances of mediocrity, touching on the lack of self-determination and loss of identity.  The new plots may also focus on the premise that the created characters should be shown as collectives who are mesmerised; knowing that they lost their heritage due to the impact of adverse colonialist activities.  The trauma-based playwright or play maker should closely interrogate or create plots from the words of Ansell (2013: 79) who suggests that the African is neither here nor there; not fully independent, educated, or fully political. This implies that the African is perceived as neither fully African nor fully European but ‘cross-bred and half-bred victims of colonialism’ (2013: 79).  The new plots would likely produce outcomes that are useful for understanding colonialism within the context of ‘new transcultural forms’ (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2000: 118) perhaps tilted to meanings that are solely African. The ne plots would therefore be focussed on the premise that the hybridized African mind is left in a state of abandonment; foreshadowing negative outcomes that are ‘linguistic, cultural, political and racial, etc’ (2000: 118). Praxis may therefore suggest that new plots may articulate features that reflect characters caught between the colonialist and traditional African mind-set, suggesting traumatic conditions. 

Looking at the Table, the termmimicry pops out, giving the impression of forced impersonation of European forms instead of African traditional forms (Kararach, G. 2014: 273-274). In creating new plays therefore, it would be suggested that the plots may contradict or further interrogate the idea that nations in Africa, ‘could not return to their settled and independent life again without noticing that they had learned many foreign ideas and ways, which they had unconsciously adopted’ (Bhabha, 1994: 16). This insight may be identified in a play I wrote earlier titled, The Endless Walk where the characters seemed ‘marooned,’ thinking that their ultimate deliverance from the ‘scars of colonialism’ and bad governance would be actualised by travelling through the Sahara Desert to Europe. This play partially answers Gina Shmukler’s question, ‘How do you make theatre from trauma’ (Barnes and Coetzee, 2014: 155) and the notion of who should be writing plays focussed of the African perspectives of postcolonial trauma?

Understanding the term Postcolonial Trauma

As a prospective playwright or play maker who plans to tackle the subject of postcolonial trauma, it should be understood that the term trauma is based on a persistent ‘pattern of suffering’ which Caruth, (1996: 1), associates with Freud in, ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle (2015: 6). Such pattern of suffering may be associated with trauma motifs or elements identified in the explored postcolonial terms outlined in the Table. First, Freud’s description of trauma as a ‘condition,’ associated with ‘accidents,’ ‘disasters,’ and ‘wars’ may be linked to postcolonial trauma experiences in Africa linked to postcolonial trauma terms. Freud’s perception of trauma as ‘general enfeeblement and the disturbance of the mental capacities’ may be seen within the context of postcolonial trauma in Africa.  Alexander, corroborates Freud’s notion already stated as victims of trauma are described as being ‘subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks on their group consciousness, marking their memories forever and changing their future destiny in fundamental and irrevocable ways’ (2013: 6). However, it  may be suggested that prospective trauma playwrights should go beyond such a universal construct of trauma (Alexander, 2013: 7), leaving no stone unturned when creating trauma plots that reflect more of traumatic conditions in Africa. 

Trauma-based plots may draw from Motsi and Masango’s (2012: 1) notion of the ‘ego-centric (western) approach’ to trauma and the ‘socio-centric’ (African) perspective of trauma. According to them, trauma may not be limited to the feelings of an individual (as in western construct), but that of the community (2012: 1). In support of this notion, they also referred to Mbiti, (1969) who opined that individuals in Africa live corporately. Motsi and Masango further quoted Mulango, (cited in Magesa 1997: 64); who states that, ‘The life of the individual can only be grasped as it is shared. A member of the tribe, clan, and the family knows that he does not live to himself, but within the community.’  One notion is pertinent; although Motsi and Masango (2012: 1) may argue that trauma in Africa is ‘psychosocial,’ (2012: 7) meaning that the collectives are mainly involved, it will not be unusual for playwrights to craft individualistic traits into some of our proposed plots and characters. Thus, the proposed characters may make individual decisions that are far removed from the collective will of the community. This ‘ego-centric’ condition may be perceived within the context of dependency on western values explored earlier. 

Furthermore, the term, trauma may be perceived as an ‘experience of great emotional anguish’ (Alexander, J.C., Eyerman, R, and Giesen, B. 2004: 61). This notion of ‘emotional anguish’ (2004: 61) may also be associated with the negative effects of colonialism in Africa, giving a clear picture of ‘assimilation’ as described by Cesaire thus: 

We did not know what Africa was, Europeans despised everything about Africa, and in France, people spoke of a civilised and a barbarian world. The barbarian world was Africa, and the civilised world was Europe. Therefore, the best one could do with an African, was to assimilate him: the ideal was to turn him into a Frenchman with a black skin (Moore-Gilbert, Stanton, and Maley, 2013: 7).

As extrapolated from Césaire’s account, trauma is associated with the term, ‘wound,’ which may be associated with ‘cultural trauma’ – reflecting the pain of oppression (2004: 61). This may encourage the playwright or play maker to inculcate indelible experiences, scars and memories of individuals and collectives within a typical nation in Africa. The proposed plots may also explore Césaire’s notion that these scars of trauma have a way of haunting individuals and communities, thus, revealing ‘dramatic loss of identity and meaning’ (2004: 61) or ‘a tear in the social fabric, affecting a group of people’ (2004: 61). Within the same context, Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2013: 52) and Eze (2011: 31) perceive trauma as, ‘Africa having an immense white inflicted wound in the soul’ – a notion corroborated by Craps, who perceives trauma as a product of history (2013: 20) suggesting that England had exported ‘violence and suffering in the name of imperialism and colonialism’ (2013: 11). It is therefore on this historical standpoint that trauma-based plays may find credibility in terms of the embedded notions of trauma.

Understanding the term Trauma plays 

The term Trauma plays, highlights the need to create new plays associated with postcolonial traumatic conditions in Africa and the diaspora. The term may be associated with Fanon’s notion of ‘the massive psycho-existential complex’ and the forced ‘deviation on the negro’ (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2013: 267) perceived as the mind-set of the people in Africa, specifically Nigeria. Also, this study and the outcome of creating trauma-based plays may be related to interrogating traumatic conditions that are ‘deeply buried in the individual, requiring bold therapeutic measures’ (Sajnani and Johnson, 2014: 12). Proposed play plots may draw from the notion that those affected may be ‘viewed as being extremely unidentified, with many victims unable to come forward’ as a result of societal bias identified by Sajnani and Johnson (2014: 12).  Mengel and Borzaga also give a clearer perspective of how the creation of the new plays, though hinged on notions of the trauma focussed past, may also be a ray of hope; suggesting that ‘the language of trauma, then, proves to be an invaluable tool to investigate and understand’ knowing that trauma is a valuable tool or narrative for relating how past pains may be addressed – touching on how transformation or change may be actualised (Mengel and Borzaga, 2012: x). The tool of investigation related by Mengel and Borzaga (2012: x) is associated with the creative process. In other words, trauma plays may go a long way to capture and elucidate memory of colonialism to the benefit of the collectives. The term, trauma memory, like trauma narratives, are perceived in ‘the experience of violence and trauma in a colonial context’ (Mengel and Borzaga, 2012: xiii) which precipitate ‘the importance of reclaiming the past’ as imagined in the trauma-based plays which reflect traumatised conditions, described as, ‘transcending mechanisms of victimization and resentment, so typical of traumatized consciousness’ (2012: xiii). 

Plots may also be developed from Gilbert and Tompkins (2002: 11) ideas incorporated as perceptions of the proposed trauma plays, as ‘acts that respond to the experience of imperialism, whether directly or indirectly’ (2002: 11).  They are also perceived as acts that relate to the ‘continuation and/or regeneration’ (1996: 11) of colonised communities leading to further decolonisation. They may also be seen in the same context as  ‘acts performed with the awareness of, and sometimes the incorporation of, post-contact forms’ (2002: 11) as well as ‘acts that interrogate the hegemony that underlies imperial representation’ (Gilbert and Tompkins, 2002: 11).

Finally, the underpinning essence of this article may be lost if the playwright or play maker does not draw an imagined circle, thus, using it as a means of conceptualising notions of traumatic conditions seen in the context of the centre and the periphery respectively. It would be important to also look closely at the mind-sets of the characters created, touching on appropriate contexts. The overall reflective essence of the experiment should be maintained as this exploration might be the beginning of a paradigm shift in play writing and play making on one hand, and in reflecting about traumatic conditions among the collectives and individuals on the other.


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