Ogutu Muraya: Fractured Memory

Theater im Bauturm, Cologne, Germany
04 Sep 2018

Ogutu Muraya © Thomas Lenden

Ogutu Muraya © Thomas Lenden

In cooperation with Theater im Bauturm the Akademie der Künste der Welt presents a performance by Ogutu Muraya.

Ogutu Muraya needs nothing more than a space, a table and a screen to captivate his audience. This collage of personal texts, archived film footage and abstract sound takes James Baldwin’s essay Princes and Powers as its starting point. In the essay, Baldwin describes a congress of intellectuals from various African countries, which was held at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1956. Splicing together different voices, he takes on varying points of view and thus tackles the complexity of historical narratives. This literary method makes it clear that the historical record is not guaranteed to be an archive of truth but rather is always a construct or interpretation of events.

In his turn, Ogutu Muraya also makes use of this technique. What begins in near sacred silence soon becomes a striking solo piece through the power of his voice and the poetry of his language. Muraya links Baldwin’s multi-voice narrative style with memories of violence and unrest in Kenya, which he experienced as a youth. He subjectively bears witness while intellectually objectifying these events, moving the traumas of his own biography at once closer and further away. Art, for Muraya, is a way to survive. Personal hardship is contained in a multi-perspective narrative; time and place merge and intersect, shaping a new lens through which we may view this discontinuous, complex performance.

OGUTU MURAYA (* 1986 in Kenya) is an author, theatre-maker and storyteller. To him, art is an important catalyst for challenging one’s beliefs and for keeping alive the history that is retold in error or which remains hidden from the mainstream. His works have been shown in numerous festivals: among others, at La Mama (NYC), HIFA (Harare), Afrovibes Festival (Amsterdam) or Spielart Festival (Munich).


4th September 2018, 8pm

Theater im Bauturm,
Aachener Str. 24–26,
50674 Cologne

In English
15€ / 10€ reduced



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