Thursday, May 05, 2016

Aesthetic Realism & a Beautiful and Profound Novel Against Racism

I recently saw a stirring, deep, kind and most surprising event at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in NYC: "GWE: YOUNG MAN OF NEW GUINEA - A Novel Against Racism." Written by Dr. Arnold Perey, anthropologist and Aesthetic Realism consultant, and presented by the author together with actors Anne Fielding and Bennett Cooperman of the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company, this presentation included singing, with beautiful flute accompaniment by Barbara Allen, dancing, slides, and the dramatic reading of chapters of Gwe. Like other audience members, I was transported in mind and spirit across land and time to the home of the young man, Gwe. 

Rainbow in the Valley: Papua New Guinea, by Arnold Perey

We lived through the stirring events of the book, including an intense and ultimately shocking conflict between the arrogant, colonial police force and the downtrodden, indigenous people of Ketta-bora, just a short distance from where Gwe was born. 

From "Gwe," by Arnold Perey
We are made witness to Gwe's birth, and to a profound and keen understanding of how parents anywhere in the world may feel about the birth of a child; to dramatic incidents of his childhood; to brutal economic injustice and what causes it; and to the first meeting between Gwe and the American anthropologist, Alan Hull, who has come across the ocean to study Gwe's people for his PhD field study work. They look different and see each other as so different at first, but the great theme of this novel is the finding of deep and remarkable sameness within difference. 

Gwe is a work of great importance, the serious study of which could change the world.