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Ligali supports artist - activists and political art through our reviews and recommendations.
We occasionally critique Afriphobic media to provide an alternative perspective to racist cultural propaganda and any supporting anti-African institutions.

Theatre: Statement of Regret

16 January 2008
One of the most persistent grass roots criticisms of African British art and literature has always been its lack of cultural authenticity and its overt penchant to pander to funders who seek only those African artists prepared to emphasise an urban ‘black’ British or a quaint primeval ‘Caribbean’ experience. Throughout 2007, the year Britain decided to celebrate its so called ‘abolition of the slave trade act’, publishing houses, theatres, museums and galleries across the UK focused on presenting a predictable diet of African history and culture locked in a myopic dialogue about slavery and the adulation of the parliamentarian William Wilberforce and British humanitarianism.

Statement of Regret is not a play about slavery. Yes, it does address the legacy of enslavement but it is far more sophisticated than the usual ‘slavery was bad, abolition is good’ fare being erroneously described as art.

By setting the play in a fictional ‘black’ policy think tank, the author has created the perfect environment to critically analyse some of the socio-political issues affecting the failure and success of African empowerment in the UK today.

Statement of Regret is not a play about racism. Although the issue is discussed the central thrust of the play is about the ramifications of disunity in the African community, the British media refers to it as inter-ethnic conflict, in reality it is about the challenges of Pan Africanism in an anti-African environment.

Cast: Angel Coulby (Issimama Banjoko), Oscar James (Soby), Trevor Laird (Val), Colin McFarlane (Michael Akimbola), Chu Omambala (Idrissa Adebayo), Javone Prince (Kwaku MacKenzie Jnr), Clifford Samuel (Adrian MacKenzie), Ellen Thomas (lola MacKenzie), Don Warrington (Kwaku MacKenzie) with music by Soweto Kinch.

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