The Island: Post-Show with Basil Clunie

March 5, 2010

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Basil Clunie

Basil Clunie was born in New York to parents from Jamaica, and graduated from City College of New York with a degree in International Relations, specializing in Africa. He continued graduate education at Northwestern University and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Basil has been an activist in Anti-Apartheid and African liberation support since 1961. He worked with university and NGO groups in New York until 1968 when he came to Evanston. He joined others in the Coalition for Illinois Divestment from South Africa (CIDSA) to achieve passage of a South African Divestment Bill in Illinois. Later, Basil was Co-Chair of the Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Africa from its inception through the first free elections in South Africa, where he led an international team of election observers in the Eastern Cape Province. Basil was an administrator at Northwestern before going to Chicago State University as program administrator for the Joint Honors Program in International Studies, between scholars of color at Chicago State University and the University of Minnesota. At present he co-teaches a course in Colonialism and Decolonization in Africa at Columbia College in Chicago. He is a long-time member of Sherman United Methodist Church together with his wife, Gloria Bond Clunie, playwright and Drama teacher, and his daughter, Aurelia Clunie.

This post-show discussion immediately followed the performance of The Island, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's current mainstage show. Athol Fugard's daring drama is set in an unnamed prison based on the one where Nelson Mandela was held. John and Winston are cellmates who spend their days doing back-breaking labor, and their nights rehearsing Sophocles' Antigone to present to their fellow inmates. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men's friendship is tested. Fugard plays the parallels between Antigone's fight against political and patriarchal boundaries off of the imprisoned men's fight for their dignity. The Island is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.

 

Recorded Friday, March 05, 2010 at The Greenhouse Theater.