‘Aadha Satya’ is a play written jointly by Mandala’s co-founder Rajan Khatiwada and playwright Sijan Dahal. The play was prepared and produced by Mandala Theatre-Nepal in 2016 in close collaboration with Dealing with the Past thematic team from Civil Peace Service of GIZ. Based on real life experiences of selected family members of disappeared peoples in civil war of Nepal, the play was staged in Mandala Theatre in 30th August 2016 marking the International Day against Enforced Disappearance.
After receiving the appreciation and admiration from family members and audiences, the play was taken to a mobile theatre tour around western part of Nepal. The play was staged in 3 most disappearance-affected districts of Nepal during the mobile theatre tour in October 2016.
The book has been translated from Nepali into English by renowned poet Viplob Pratik.
With the web publication of this book, we encourage interested theatre artists from around the world to produce the play in their design to express their solidarity towards the issues of families of enforced disappearance. Interested groups and directors can contact us to get the consent from authors and copywright holder to do the production for free.
About the Process of Aadha Satya
Mandala Theatre has been organizing different events to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance (30 August) every year since 2015. Artists and the families of the disappeared along with activists collaborated to design and organize these events. Performances, poetry recitals, music and other artistic expressions were organized to commemorate the day and keep the memories of the disappeared alive.
The events try to depict how the uncertainty around the disappeared persons’ fate continues to affect the lives of family members socially, economically, legally as well as of course emotionally. Family members are living in the limbo of ‘ambiguous loss’ with ‘unsettled memories’ due to the lack of confirmed truth. These commemoration events try to provide a space for these memories and attract broader public solidarity and recognition for the issues of disappearances.
In 2016, Mandala Theatre decided to develop a play based on experiences shared by the families of the disappeared. Rajan Khatiwada and Sijan Dahal from Mandala Theatre, accompanied by team members from NEFAD and GIZ-ZFD Dealing with the Past thematic team, visited and talked with five families living in the Kathmandu Valley to hear their stories. After these conversations, Rajan and Sijan prepared the script, selected the artists and directed the play.
The play was first performed for the family members who had shared their stories. Their feedback and concerns were incorporated and the play was then premiered on 30th August 2016 at Mandala Theatre. After requests from family members, activists and other communities, Mandala’s mobile theatre bus ‘JUNKIRI’ went on tour taking the play to different conflict affected communities in Bardiya, Kailali and Dang.
The tour was coordinated by the family members of the disappeared in nine different places. The play was well received by the audiences and family members since it raised the issues of continued hardships for family members and how disappearances continuously affect their lives. It was impossible for us to do as many performances as they wished due to the lack of resources and time. That is why we are publishing the script as a book so that artist groups in other locations can produce and perform this play.
The play production process was a collaborative effort from which we have learned a lot. We are grateful to the people and organizations who were involved in this process. We want to dedicate this book to all of them.