Theatre Performance Depicts Realities Of Algerian Protest Movement

North Africa

A theatre performance inspired by the Hirak movement has been staged to depict the realities of the Algerian protests that have been running for a year.

A theatre production has been staged in Algeria to depict the realities on the ground during the protests in Algeria that have been running for over a year. The play includes scenes that resembles those seen during the protests, including arrests of activists made by the security forces and scenes of interrogation.

“We try to attract the audience through simple and understandable work. Everyone can relate to the events of the play, even school students. We are talking about a reality in which people live and the proof is the interaction of the audience [with the play] as they laugh in some scenes and cry at others. This is not easy, and we, the artists, make it seem deceptively simple”, expressed Isa Shawat, an actor performing in the play.

Those involved in the production and performance of the play believe that the scenes are not relevant only to Algerians, but to other protest movements that have been taking place across the Arab world over the past few years.

“The play tells a story about the popular movements, not only in Algeria, and it reflects everything that can happen in the entire world, such as Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon”, stated Iqbal al-Talili, part of the production team for the play.

The protests in Algeria reached their one-year anniversary in February. The initial wave of protests brought an end to the long-lasting presidential rule of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was forced to resign in April 2019 as a result of the demonstrations. The protests nevertheless continued as demonstrators were eager to keep the momentum and to assert their democratic demands.

Arrests of human rights and political activists have abounded even since the new Algerian president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, announced that he would be willing to entering into a dialogue with the protest movement. Human rights organisations have called out on the human rights violations committed against protesters by the government.