Civilization on Trial By Sweety Ruhel


Civilisation on trial

The performance profiles the poorest man at the periphery awaiting his chance for education. His brain’s physical development is still to take a shape, and who doesn’t have a critical faculty.  He, who is sold, lives happily in oblivion. A man, indebted to the Superpower, celebrates his stupor. In India, we claim to be a developing superpower. The falling rupee, the failing economy and agricultural crises prove that our dreams are faithless dreams. On the way to becoming a superpower, America has grabbed all the natural resources it could lay its claws on. Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan are some of the recent casualties, there are many more bearing the brunt of American neo-imperialist strategies. Caught in the web of political, economic and cultural hegemonies of America, we have allowed oppressive tendencies to become a part of our thought process. And this is visible in commodification of men and women alike. Amongst us, there are many who are struggling to be heard and seen. With this play, we attempt to make space for the unseen and tune in to what we, as a society, chronically tune out.

The play was developed metaphorically through the cartoons and their caricatured body. During the process, cartoons indeed became the medium for the psyche to look at different perspectives of certain situations. Like cartoons, the performance also communicates with zest of humour and satire. The characters also get inspired from the cartoons.

About The Director

Sweety Ruhel, an NSD graduate, has been a combination of theatre activist and practitioner. While at college, she got associated with Abhivyakti Dramatic Society and explored various aspects of Campus Theatre. Later, she did her ventures with ‘Bigul’, a group of young theatre workers.  Her directorial works include Knightangle and Bus Stop by Dorothy Abraham, Harold Pinter’s Mountain Language, Hockey Khelti Ladkiyaan, Seven Histories and Civilisation on Trial. She has worked with many eminent theatre directors including Abhilash Pillai, Shantanu Bose, Ovlyakuli Khojakuli, Ranjit Kapoor, Dinesh Khanna, K.S.Rajendran and Amitesh Grover. At present, she has been working on possibilities of acting through cartoons.