Tunisian Rapper Weld-El 15 Inspires Performance
In 2013 police in Tunisia sentenced Alaa Yaacoubi, known as rapper Weld El 15, to two years in prison because of his song “The Police Are Dogs.”
Ever since the 2010 action of the 26 year old Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian man struggling to survive among police brutality & corruption who doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire, Tunisian youth have been living in flux.
On one hand the Arab Spring was thought to be a step towards democratic reform in the region, on the other hand many states cracked down harder on any sort of protest.
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard’s performance “Sound of the Beast” is inspired by Weld El’s case.
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard at SpringWorks in Stratford
Her performance touches on censorship, the solitude of self-imposed exile, civil disobedience and abuse of authority in Africa.
It does so using controversial sounds and hip hop tracks from closer to home.
The show was developed with support from the Banff Centre’s 2015 Spoken Word program.
Stratford Festival Playwrights’ Workshop
St. Bernard also has ties to the Stratford Festival.
In 2011 St. Bernard attended a playwright’s retreat along with Catherine Banks, Michel Marc Bouchard, Sean Dixon, Linda Gaboriau, Hiro Kanagawa, Colleen Murphy, Eugene Stickland and Kenneth T. Williams.
While she was at the playwrights’ retreat she wrote “Give It Up,” which was presented at SpringWorks in 2012.
For 10 years St Bernard worked with Yvette Nolan at Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous theatre company Native Earth.
St. Bernard also travels abroad performing and collecting stories.
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard at the Bayimba International Arts Festival in Kampala, Uganda.
Sound of the Beast (From the 54ology)
Fri, May 8th, 2015 at 6:00 pm
Tue, Jun 9th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Both performances at St. John’s United Church
175 Waterloo St. South, Stratford – MAP
Tickets & Details