Digital Arts

06 Nov 2015, 06:43 PM

All the World's a Stage

1 comment

Well-known English playwright William Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players"

Truly, we're all performing in one way or another...

I'm not that familiar with performance art, so watching the video on it was both confusing and enlightening. Nonetheless, I attempted to ground it in a personal and culturally relevant experience, but couldn't accurately identify one...

One thing that came to mind though was what my sister nicknamed "professional wailers" at funerals. Funerals tend to be grand occasions in Ghana, especially in Accra. I suspect we make a big deal out of funerals because we make a big deal out of life. They are a time to mourn and yet celebrate life lived and life lost.

The wailers are usually women designated, by no one in particular, to wail. They can be a distant family member or a community member with no relation. Although they may have had a close personal relationship with the deceased, more often than not they didn't.

But they cry.
Cry, moan and groan.
Weep and wail with hands on their heads, hands on their hearts, performing sadness, though they might not feel as much of it themselves.

The purpose is to create, match and enhance the atmosphere of grief. Weeping with those who weep and for those that can't, don't or won't:

'A family member is gone
A community member is gone
We loved them, we miss them
We must mourn'

I'm not sure of the origin of the practice but I always find them fascinating to watch.


about 3 years ago

Interesting...maybe you post a photo of the wailers? (:

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