Photo Credit: Justin Chauncey
By Adam Ashraf Elsayigh and Arianna Gayle Stucki
Directed by Shadi Ghaheri
Memorial is a verbatim play that tells the story of the Christchurch Muslim community during and following the two mosque shootings that occurred on March 15th in Christchurch, New Zealand. The play chronicles the impact of the shootings, and systems of violence, through the words and experiences of seven citizens of Christchurch, focusing on the friends and families of those who were lost in the attacks and telling the story exclusively through their own words. Memorial deeply engages with the traumas of the friends and family left behind after the shooting centering around the themes of migration, diaspora and the experience of otherness and xenophobia both within and outside communities.
Nava May Saylany
Scenic Designer: Sophie Blondel
Projection Designer: Attilio Rigotti
Costume Designer: Jason Goodwin
Sound Designer: Bryson Ezell
Lighting Designer: Alex Ander
“Whose lives are to be regarded as grievable, as worthy of protection, as belonging to subjects with rights that ought to be honored?” - Judith Butler, Frames of War
“… the human mind is so powerful it can carry any grief they face in their life.”
These are wise words and hopeful offerings of Farid Ahmed! One of many people who lost a love one in the terrorist attack of March 15th 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
I ask myself, how many more spouses, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children and friends are out there grieving…finding a way to understand this unthinkable act of violence!? As Edward “Abdul Jabbar” Wadsworth says, “Christchurch has been through hell. We're actually not being taught to understand people anymore.” How many mothers are struggling to move forward? To just continue being?
“... I’m not enjoying living. I’m concentrating on going to Paradise…” - Janna Ezat
What do we do in face of a world that can not explain itself anymore? What is our responsibility now? How do we find meaning in deaths of 51 inocent people by hand of a white Supremacist? How do we give meaning to the death of Mucaad Ibrahim, a 3-year-old baby?
We can’t! There’s nothing! There is no meaning…
And… I have a million more questions…
But I’ll leave you with this verbatim play. And invite you to listen. That might be the least we can do!