A response to the critique that “all the black characters die” in When Swallows Cry...


Poster of When Swallows Cry, play by Mike Van Graan

"To be a writer does not require race essentialism and/or racial solidarity; it requires human empathy."

"If I do anything as a writer, it is to challenge (...) intellectual and political superficiality, and to invite audiences to think more, to analyse deeper and to reflect longer on what they have experienced. And then, to act as empathetic humans in a world and in a society where such action is increasingly necessary, but increasingly difficult to find."

South African playwright Mike van Graan reacts to criticisms to the perceived pessimistic ending of his latest play When Swallows Cry and criticizes, among others, the assumptions on a single "black narrative" from the African continent.

Watch a short video from the première of When Swallows Cry at Market Theatre, Johannesburg, January 2017

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