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Paper 1 Unit 1: Exploring Persecution

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Paper 1 Unit 1: Exploring Persecution Evaluation by Matthew Simpson When devising our piece about persecution, I felt that our piece should convey several different things to the audience. Firstly, our stimulus is key to understanding what we wanted to show; we chose the Rwandan Genocide and so wanted to show how the oppressed or the persecuted in this situation, due to what has happened to them feel the desire to overpower the oppressors or the persecutors, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. I also felt it was important to show that these people held many similar beliefs and traditions and ways of life and the main difference between them (the Hutus and the Tutsis) are their names, and so show that their conflict was pointless. Perhaps it also shows how people can turn in on their own kind because of these attributed differences which have no physical or even cultural correspondence. Furthermore, I felt it important to show the historical context of the piece and the influences of Western powers upon poorer African nations. After the Treaty of Versailles, Rwanda was under the command of Belgium who promptly gave all of the power positions within the Rwandan society to Tutsis whilst the Hutus had the lower skilled jobs and perhaps even felt sub-human. Over the next 60 years the tensions between the two groups would build up considerably until the early 1990s when the President was shot and all hell broke lose, with hundreds of bodies laid strewn across roads. I contributed significantly in many different ways towards my group's piece. ...read more.


This conveyed to the audience that she was not as cold hearted as we sometimes assume persecutors are and she could not bear to see me look at her whilst she knew very well that my wife wouldn't last long. Sensing that I could be shot, with a gun held to my head, I slowly began to go to floor as she had told me to. Throughout the scene we used white light to show how normal the event was in Rwanda and to show that we hadn't stylised it in any way. Once I had gone to the ground we had a blackout whilst me and Samah remained on stage and Aliye and Ameika behind the curtain where they simulated the cries and orders of the leaders of the Hutu uprising, claiming that they would "squash the Tutsi scum like bugs." This really put the whole scene into perspective for the audience as they heard the orders that the "soldiers" who broke into the house had been under, not to clear them of any guilt. I think that this was a really effective scene in conveying both the human emotion and situation surrounding the Rwandan Genocide. In our next scene, we all assumed the role of the political leader's of both the Tutsis and the Hutus and engage each other in a debate. As a Hutu, about to regain power, I held myself upright and with pride. My head was also held high to show that I have no doubts about what I am about to do and when I spoke, I used a deep booming political voice, as if to drive away the Tutsi leaders with the sheer power of my voice. ...read more.


I started this unit on persecution thinking that I already had a pretty deep knowledge of persecution and thought that I wouldn't learn very much from it; however I'm shocked by how much I have. All of the different stylistic and other styles of pieces have really changed the way I think of persecution. Rather than seeing the facts of different periods of persecution such as in Nazi Germany, I know feel more in touch with the feelings of those who are persecuted, because I have been allowed to experiment with that. I think that we like to think that we don't have persecution anymore because we're a 'modern' society but due to Ali's groups exploration of the Muslim honour killings, I am reminded that persecution has always existed and will probably go on to exist forever because even from what I see of my peers reminds me that racism is still very much strong even amongst people brought up in a multi-cultural society. Moreover, I think that learning about persecution in history doesn't have the same impact as it has had on me in drama because you don't interact with what you are being told or to begin to think how people in those situations could have felt. If I were given another opportunity to improve my group's piece, then I would probably focus on the after or resultant effects of the persecution. Throughout my piece which I have described here we most focus on the elementary effects of it or the reasons of why it comes about, but we don't really show the devastating result of the Rwandan Genocide. ...read more.

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