A powerful new play inspired by the case of a father-of-two who died in police custody in Scotland and intended to explore how racist the country really is, is being developed by one of its leading theatres.
The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh is working with an acclaimed poet and writer on Lament for Sheku, which will examine how much prejudice exists in Scotland’s institutions and in our wider society.
Hannah Lavery, who has already created a spoken word show recalling her experiences of growing up in a mixed-race family in Edinburgh, said the play was aimed at revealing the human tragedy behind the Sheku Bayoh case, which triggered accusations of racism within Police Scotland.
“So how much of your work is really documenting the ineptitude of the police?” Stan Douglas is laughing at my question without completely avoiding it. “Well, the work can’t conceal the points at which they are out of their depth,” he says.
We’re sitting in the Victoria Miro gallery in Mayfair, London, talking over the sounds of drilling as the artist’s latest large-scale works are secured to the wall next door.
Black and white pastors are hoping the movie Selma will renew efforts toward racial reconciliation in Sanford that started with the death of Trayvon Martin.
Northland Church Pastor Joel Hunter and Calvary Temple of Praise Pastor Paul Wright say the film, which opens Jan. 9, can restart discussions on the unfinished business of the civil rights movement for blacks and whites.
“What I want to do as a white pastor is to continue to be part of the civil rights movement. This movie gives us a chance to re-engage with each other,” Hunter said.