Nobel Laureates - Art, Truth & Politics

Nobel Laureate Dario Fo has written a new play titled Peace Mom. The work, which premiered in London on December 10th, is a one-woman show based on the writings of American peace activist Cindy Sheehan. Asked by the Guardian newspaper for the reason he decided to produce a play about Sheehan, The Italian playwright answered; “One of the things that grabbed me is that that there is an epic quality to the letters that Sheehan wrote to George Bush, and especially Barbara Bush. There is a rhythm and tempo in her prose which recalls the great epic writers of Greece.” At the premiere, Sheehan was played by Frances de la Tour, who has had a long and illustrious career but will most likely be known to Americans for playing Madame Olympe Maxime in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The director of Peace Mom, Michael Kustow, hopes to stage performances of the play in New York this coming spring, when de la Tour will be on Broadway to act in the theatrical production of The History Boys.

Meanwhile, the 2005 Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to British author and playwright, Harold Pinter. The 75 year old playwright has been ailing from throat cancer, and so did not attend the award ceremony at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. Instead Pinter’s Nobel Lecture was pre-recorded and shown on video to the Academy on December 10th, 2005. The title of Pinter’s lecture was Art, truth and politics, and his acceptance speech was a scathing attack upon U.S. foreign policy - from Vietnam to the Central American wars of the 1980s.

But Pinter reserved his fiercest criticism for President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, insisting the two should be brought before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. “The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading - as a last resort - all other justifications having failed to justify themselves - as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East.’” You can read the entire text of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, here.

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