Personal history is world history in The Crows Plucked Your Sinews

Rehearsals of Crows Plucked Your Sinews at The Albany Theatre. London, United Kingdom on Tuesday 27 June 2017. Photo: Dervish Productions / Supplied

The Crows Plucked Your Sinews invites us into the world of a young Somalian woman coming to terms with her positionality in a world charged with Islamophobic hostility. Written and directed by Hassan Mahamdallie, the play illustrates how the histories weaved into the metaphoric quilt of one’s personal heritage are simultaneously the fibres of political history.

Video by Athini Majali

Aisha Mohammed, the sole actress of the play, compels the audience to journey with her in this delineated narrative about the great matriarchs of her family. Mohammed’s character shares the anxiety of feeling both alienated from and proud of her Somali identity. She speaks about her ambivalent relationship with her nostalgic grandmother and great-grandmother, who was a valiant Dervish warrior.

The play’s form, done in the lyrical tradition of Somalia, inspires us to rub the prejudice from our eyes. The Crows Plucked Your Sinews demystifies Somali culture with a bilingual performance and the ambiance of Abdelkader Saadoun’s live music, consisting of drums and an oud.

The Crows Plucked Your Sinews boldly reclaims authorship of Somali history. This refreshing retelling jostles with problematic attitudes about Islam in the context of the West’s dubious War on Terror.

The Crows Plucked Your Sinews will be showing on 6 July at 2pm and 6.30pm, 7 July at 10am and 2.30pm, and 8 July at 6.30pm at Vicky’s.

By Ayanda Gigaba