Born in the camps where displaced people fled a 40-year civil war that claimed almost two million lives, the SSTC is a potent symbol of a country’s new nationhood. Last July, South Sudan finally achieved independence from the north of Sudan, making it the youngest country to take part in the Globe to Globe festival.
“It is hard to describe how important this moment is for us,” says co-director Joseph Abuk, the man who took on the translation of the play from Shakespearean English to Juba Arabic, a language without a dictionary. “It is a moment when we celebrate our freedom.”
For more than two decades, it was impossible to read Shakespeare in South Sudan because the government in the north banned books written in English. Often the stories were passed on through word of mouth, but there were also contraband copies of Shakespeare plays in circulation.
“When we put the call out for Shakespeare productions from different countries, the proposal we got from SSTC was the single most compelling and irresistible,” says Tom Bird, director of Globe to Globe. “It was six months before independence, and was written by the man who would go on to become the country’s first minister for
Category: South Sudan News