Filed under: TheatreNow! Podcasts | Tags: Anne Hamilton, Catherine Filloux, Hamilton Dramaturgy's TheatreNow!, League of Professional Theatre Women, Linsey Bostwick, New York City theatre, NO PASSPORT
Catherine Filloux is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for the past twenty years. Her plays, and music theater pieces, have been produced in New York and around the world.
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Anne Hamilton interviewed her on June 3, 2010.
Catherine made the following statement at the NO PASSPORT conference in New York City. You can also download it here: Between You and Me by Catherine Filloux.
For more interviews/features on Catherine, see http://www.catherinefilloux.com/links.html
Between You and Me
By Catherine Filloux
NoPassport Conference at Nuyorican Poets Café – February 26, 2010
All my plays have an American entry point. Though “American” is not the appropriate word. I love the United States of America: the idea that freedom is everyone’s birthright. In my play Silence of God, I exposed a secret capture plan by the U.S. to jail Pol Pot decades after the Khmer Rouge genocide. The U.S. government always knew where Pol Pot was but was caught up in superpower politics that made it inconvenient to get him. The U.S. government knows where Bosnian Serb military chief Mladic is (his house was just raided in Belgrade) but our priorities are elsewhere. What is the U.S. doing in the world through its control of oil, the military complex, and its passion for fear as a tool of repression? I think no discussion about genocide can exist without my acknowledgment of the Native American genocide. I grew up going to school in Toulon, France and my fellow students would say to me as they passed me in the hall: “Vous avez tué les indiens.” And I would say to myself in shock and embarrassment: “I killed the Indians?” My new play involves a tribe that is suing the federal government for actions resulting in “destruction” to the tribe’s sacred cultural sites. What’s more valuable: sacred, cultural sites or agribusiness profits? All my plays are about my own complicity: that of being from the United States. Rather than being some kind of punishment towards myself (or my country) I believe this work is the most hopeful, optimistic way I can find, as a theater artist, to fight repression and abuse. And to fight violence against women. The U.S. government didn’t sign the Kyoto Protocol; doesn’t believe in the ICC; waited three decades to sign Raphael Lemkin’s genocide convention; and our military pays private corporations to build land mines. It’s exactly because my immigrant parents and I loved the poetry at the heart of this nation that I am suffering at its gross misrepresentation around the world. The constitution is a document under siege. There’s only one thing holding us back from change in the U.S. and that’s the same two letters: Us. There’s only one thing holding me back from change in the U.S. and that word also has two letters: me.
You can follow Catherine’s career at www.catherinefilloux.com
— Anne Hamilton, Dramaturg and Playwright.
TheatreNow! Staff: Anne Hamilton, Producer and Host; Linsey Bostwick, Editor
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