USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

Theatre Production

A Darfuri child who has just been killed.

In 2010, Audrey Powers a librarian at University of South Florida (USF) Libraries introduced Waging Peace, a British non governmental organization to USF Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center director Dr. Mark Greenberg, who later became very instrumental in digitizing the children's drawings and disseminating them on USF campus and beyond. These drawings have had a profound impact wherever they have been exhibited. Apart from University of South Florida, the drawings have been exhibited at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Center, which will also have a couple of these drawings in their permanent exhibition. Other institutions that have hosted these drawings include Boston College and Harvard University.

Fanni Green and Jeanne Travers, faculty members in the USF School of Theatre and Dance, were touched by these children's drawings. They wrote, directed, and choreographed a theatre production entitled, "What the heart remembers: The women and children of Darfur." This original production was first staged at the University of South Florida in November 2010, and the cast were mainly student of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Florida.

"What the heart remembers" was exceptionally well received in the Tampa Bay area in Florida and went on to win the 2010 Creative Loafing best dance performance award. In August 2012, the production was restaged and performed at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland where it was nominated for the Festival's Amnesty International Freedom of Expression award.

Children and women tend to be victims of most armed conflicts including the genocide in Darfur. This production vividly brings to the fore the impact that the genocide had on civilians in the community. Apart from showing how communities were traumatized, the production shows women and children being abducted and killed, raped, denied access to basic nessecities, such as water, and the role of Sudanese military and militia groups, such as the Janjaweed had in the genocide.