The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield by Visniec | Serbia | Turkey

The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian war by Matei Vi niec translated by Alison Sinclair

The war in Bosnia seems to be fading in our consciousness to become a macabre page in history. And more and more, we have the tendency to forget. For other wars, other macabre pages in contemporary history are being written... Unfortunately, one thing persists: nationalistic fervour. Civil society and the modern world have never been so threatened by base nationalism of a populist and violent nature. This was the original motive for my play: to write as a way of trying to understand. To try and understand how this mechanism transforms normal people into brutes, ordinary people into savages. To try and understand how, in the middle of Europe at the end of the 20th century, we are having to confront, yet again the murderous folly of a war with all the ingredients of a new world war. Is the nationalist fervour in the Balkans the price we must pay for the final departure of communism? If this is the case, then that Utopian concept, responsible for the deaths of 100 million people hasn't yet come to an end, and even after the announcement of its death, it continues to poison our lives. The generations who have never known state communism, are still at risk of suffering perhaps even more from the failure of any overall plan to silence it, than those who were directly the victims. But even more painful still, is the observation that nationalism is making headway even in those countries with strong democratic traditions, even in countries which have known long periods of prosperity. Nobody is safe, apparently, when the identity ogres begin to roar. Perhaps the real drama of the world today is that, without idealism, people go in search of their roots instead of their wings. Matei Vi niec

The play has been performed in France, Germany, Bulgaria, Canada, Romania and Great Britain. The London premiere was at the Young Vic Studio in November 2000, directed by Alison Sinclair. Author's Note: This play was written in residence at La Chartreuse de Villeneuve-les-Avignon in November and December of 1996. This play, inspired by the Bosnian crisis, remains a work of fiction. The author has nonetheless made use of some eyewitness reports both for the description of the uncovering of mass graves in Scene 26 and the 'image' of Dorra's country in Scene 29, because, with horrors like these, reality beggars the Imagination.

Kate Dorra Vujovic an American Psychologist a patient

Time: Some time after the war in Bosnia. P lac e: A c l inic in Germany, near Lake Constance.

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Kate reads extracts from her diary.

KATE Slavonski Brod Hospital, Croatia, May 1994. (A beat) In inter-ethnic wars, the body of a woman becomes a battlefield. Witness Europe at the end of the twentieth century. The penis of the modern fighter is soaked in the screams of raped women, just as the knight's blade was once soaked in the blood of his enemy. (A beat) An attempt to apply psychoanalytical concepts to the autopsy of horror: This inter-ethnic violence could perhaps be better understood by the use of Freudian terms. Certain Freudian notions that belong to the world of primal urges, can shed more light on the world of nationalistic violence than a more convent-ional terminology. See if the following concepts can better explain the sources of ethnic violence in Bosnia: Nationalistic libido. Libidinous nationalism. Infantile ethnic sadism. The fantasy world of a national minority. Nationalist neurosis. Narcissistic neurosis of the ethnic majority. Obsessive neurosis of the ethnic minority. The nationalist drive: the drive to dominate, the drive to threaten, the drive to destroy. SCENE 2 Kate enters Dorra's room. Dorra sits motionless on a chair. She stares vacantly. KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA
Hello. ... It's me, Kate. ... It's a beautiful day. ... Some people are walking in the garden. ... If you¶d like to go into the garden, I¶ll come with you ... I¶m not asking you to talk to me. ... But, if you¶d like to go into the garden, I¶ll come with you. ... Or you could go by yourself if you¶d prefer. ... Do whatever you like. ... Iµm going to open a window. ... Can you feel the spring? ...

SCENE 3 Kate reads extracts from her diary.

KATE Doboj Camp, Bosnia, June 1994. (A beat) Are those ethnic groups who have never had their own nation state most vulnerable to such atrocity? Are they more at risk than others of becoming caught up in this primitive sadism? Amazing parallels exist between nationalistic sadism, and Freud's description of infantile sadism. (A beat) Do members of ethnic groups who have never had their own nation state react in a similar way to those people who have never expressed their sexual urges?

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First thought: the manifestations of nationalistic frustration have much in common with the manifestations of sexual frustration. Following this logic, the nationalist explosion could be analysed, from a Freudian perspective, as an urge born of frustration. (A beat) See if the following concepts can explain something: Growing anxiety in the ethnic group. Nationalist explosion. Nationalist depression. Depressive nationalism. The mutual phobic neuroses of ethnic groups who share the same territory. The neurosis of destiny and the neurosis of failure. The ethnic neurosis of abandonment.

Kate enters Dorra's room.

KATE I know you can hear me. DORRA ... KATE I feel you can hear me. DORRA ... KATE That's why I'm talking to you. DORRA ... KATE Because I know you can hear me. DORRA ... KATE I'm not asking you to answer me. DORRA ... KATE I'm not asking anything. DORRA ... KATE I'm Kate. DORRA ... KATE You're Dorra. DORRA ... KATE Hello, Dorra. DORRA ... KATE I'm Kate. Hello Dorra. DORRA ... KATE It's a pretty name, Dorra. DORRA ... KATE What would you like for lunch? DORRA ... KATE Would you like me to read you the menu? DORRA ... KATE There's soup... zucchini soup... cream of vegetable soup... cabbage lasagne... I like soup. I'm not totally vegetarian, but I do like vegetable soups... I'll leave you the menu on the table. You can tick off the dish you'd like... And the dessert... Is that okay, Dorra? DORRA ... KATE Good-bye, Dorra. SCENE 5
Kate reads extracts from her diary.

KATE Modrica, Bosnia, August 1994. (A beat) And what if nationalism is nothing but a suicidal impulse? Are some nationalities more disposed to melancholia? Nationalist hysteria. Mass hysteria. Ethnic defence hysteria. Identifying with the aggressor. (A beat) Frustration. Broken dreams. Marginalisation. Loss of identity. (A beat)

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The sexual urge and the nationalist libido can be useful concepts in the understanding of incidents of rape committed during inter-ethnic wars. (A beat) Today's Balkan 'warrior'. Portrait: literate, educated, frequently to High School Certificate, university, even beyond. Fascinated by Western affluence. His dream: to get himself lo Germany or the States. Speaks a little English, gets by in German, knows a few words of Italian and French, can hold a conversation in Russian. Cruel and melancholic. Anti-communist, but nostalgic for past stability. Drinks anything he can get his hands on. Miserable when forced to admit to himself: he has no country, he hasn't been given a country, his country has been stolen from him, his country has been occupied, his country has been carved up, his country has been humiliated. And always: the West has forgotten him, the West hasn't kept its promises, the West has betrayed him, the West is a whore. (A beat) He fights in the name of his people, who have never had a country. But, he doesn't have a clear enemy. He doesn't have a clearly defined battlefield. (A beat) See if these concepts can explain something: Descent into barbarity. Ancestral frustration. The fighter's fantasy world. The fighter finally finds his ideal conditions in the state of frustration - therefore, in the state of war. This is exactly Freud's analysis in the case of frustrated subjects who fall ill just at the precise moment of attaining the object of their desire.

Dorra, alone. Night-time, curled up in her bed, under the blanket.

DORRA I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you...
She is silent for a moment. Then she sits up, gets out of bed, crosses the room, goes to the bathroom, turns on the tap, pours herself a glass of water and drinks it. She goes back to bed and covers herself with the blanket.

DORRA I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you... SCENE 7
Kate enters Dorra's room.

KATE First observation. The subject is suffering from traumatic neurosis. The cause of this traumatic neurosis is the rape the subject was submitted to about two weeks ago. It appears that there was no neurological harm done. (A beat) The state of the subject: mental confusion, exhaustion, hysterical paralysis. The subject does not respond to any external stimuli. Her deliberate refusal to answer my questions leads me to believe that she understands everything I say to her. SCENE 8
Dorra kneels, as if praying. She speaks in a quiet voice.

DORRA I hate you... I hate you... I hate you... No, don't tell me that time heals everything. I don't believe that time can heal everything. Time can't heal wounds that aren't healable. That's all. Time can only do what it can, nothing more. No, God, you can't deliver us from evil. No, God, you can't give us our daily bread. No, God, you can't forgive us our trespasses because we don't ask to be forgiven, because we can't forgive you. No, God, we can't accept that your will be done because your will is blood and fire and madness. No, God, you are not our truth, because truth has been murdered, because truth has been buried along with heaven which doesn't exist any more either, because your house, God, is now a house of the dead, yes. No, God, the evil men will never be punished, it is they who will inherit the earth.

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No, God, there is no victory of good over evil, of weak over strong, of poor over rich, of believer over non-believer, of life over death, of beauty over ugliness... ..No, God, I cannot tell you about my suffering. No, I don't believe everything can be told. I don't believe everything can be understood. I don't believe there is sense in everything we're told. I don't believe there is sense in anything I am saying.

Kate stands by Dorra's bed.

KATE Second observation. The subject is suffering an alteration of the ego. (A beat) The subject seeks refuge in silence and offers positive resistance to every attempt at external communication. This behaviour pattern is simply a defence mechanism. Every attempt at communication is perceived by the subject as an act of aggression. For the subject, the rape continues. SCENE 10
Dorra alone, night. She gets up, goes to the sink, turns on the tap, fills a glass of water. She looks at herself in the mirror. She washes her face. She sings to herself. The words are just about audible. Kate enters. Dorra continues to sing in front of the mirror.

KATE (to the audience) The new Balkan fighter rapes his ethnic enemy's women to strike the fatal blow at his ethnic enemy. The body of a woman becomes a battlefield in its own right. Nowhere else does ethnic hate manifest itself so strongly than this new battlefield. The new fighter does not expose himself to bullets, shells, charges, tanks. He merely exposes himself to the screams of a woman. But this only increases his desire to serve his country to the bitter end. (A beat) The new battlefield of this new fighter: the body of the wife of his ex-neighbor, the body of the wife of his old school friend, the body of the wife of his closest friend whom for nearly half a century he has called "brother". (A beat) The forced fraternisation of ethnic groups: a time-bomb. This is the real Balkan powder keg. Hence the long gestation of this national frustration. The Freudian revenge of peoples who have never had their own country. (A beat) A woman's body as a battlefield: the fighter unleashes himself into it as his final coup de grâce. (Dorra continues to sing in front of the mirror) In today's ethnic wars, rape is a kind of blitzkrieg. Nothing can destabilise the ethnic enemy so effectively as the rape of his women. (A beat) More than half of the women raped within the context of inter-ethnic wars are victims of aggressors whom they know or whose paths they have crossed frequently within an area of less than sixty kilometres. Around half the women we have been able to question state that the men who raped them were from the same village, or from neighbouring villages. Almost a quarter of the women we questioned are able to give the name, or names, of their aggressors. It appears that many women married to men from a different ethnic group, were raped by men from their own ethnic group, as punishment for entering into a mixed marriage. For the new fighter, raping his ethnic enemy's women, has the sweet taste of total victory. In inter-ethnic wars, a woman's body embodies resistance. The new fighter rapes to break this resistance. He believes this will strike the final blow against his adversary. (A beat) After securing the safety of his own wife, daughter, mother, sister, the fighter throws himself into the pursuit of his enemy's wife, daughter, mother, sister. Often, the new fighter doesn't even look for a face to face confrontation with his sworn ethnic enemy.(A beat) Before a face to face confrontation, the inter-ethnic fighter hopes to destroy the sources of his enemy's strength. And these sources he knows. Because his enemy was once his neighbour, he worked with his enemy, he was very often invited into the home of his enemy, he knows all the members of his enemy's family, he knows his enemy's habits. In short, his enemy was once his brother and the fighter knows that the women who surround his enemy are at once his source of strength, and his point of greatest weakness. (A beat) These adversaries don't rape for some savage pleasure, or out of sexual frustration. Rape is a form of military strategy aimed at demoralising the enemy. Rape has, in the context of inter-ethnic wars in Europe, the same objective as the destruction of the enemy's houses, the enemy's churches and places of worship, his cultural heritage and his most deeply held values.

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Kate enters Dorra's room. Dorra sits motionless on her chair. KATE Hello, Dorra. DORRA ... KATE It's me, Kate. DORRA ... KATE They lit a big fire in the day room. DORRA ... KATE Would you like to go down? DORRA ... KATE If you'd like to go down to the day room, you'd be very welcome. DORRA ... KATE Do you like a fire? DORRA ... KATE It's great, an open fire. DORRA ... KATE Everyone's there. DORRA ... KATE Come down if you'd like to. DORRA ... KATE Or, if you'd rather I stayed with you, just say. DORRA ... KATE You have a little bell here, Dorra. If you'd like me to come up and stay with you, just ring. All right? DORRA ... KATE I know you can hear me. DORRA ... KATE I'm not a doctor, Dorra. I'm not speaking to you as a doctor. I'm not here to make you get better. DORRA ... KATE I'm here because I need you. DORRA ... KATE Good-bye, Dorra.

SCENE 12 DORRA (to the audience) The Balkans: An emotional time-bomb. In the Balkans, we really know how to drink. Look, we haven't seen each other for three weeks, that's a long time, it's unbearable, so have a drink. And you drink till the small hours. Because, in the Balkans, if you're friends you can't stand not to see each other for three weeks. Any excuse will do to booze till five in the morning. Haven't seen each other for a week, shit, that's a long time, so have a drink. And you drink till midnight. To make the separation of friends bearable, drink a little every day. So, if you go drinking every day after work, between four o'clock and ten o'clock, then life's bearable, you can go home, spend fifteen minutes with the kids. Or with the wife. The wife who is nothing but a reproduction machine. Who only knows how to nag her husband from the minute he comes in the door. That's why he comes home late and goes out early. In the morning he has a hangover. That's the best time for her to have a go at him. In the evening, she doesn't dare say too much. In the evening, a sense of honour is very strong in Balkan man. In the evening, if she goes too far, he'll just get angry and have another drink. Or two. Or three. Because, in the evening, having spent time drinking with his mates, Balkan man becomes sad. His soul feels pain. Grand metaphysical questions obsess and torture him. You don't understand the first thing about history, my little chicken. No, she doesn't understand anything. She doesn't understand her man's sudden ancestral melancholy. She doesn't understand why he suddenly needs to question the meaning of life. Where do we come from? Where are we going? This fucking world doesn't make any sense. In the evening, having emptied several dozen half-litre bottles of beer with his mates, Balkan man suddenly despairs at the semantic

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fragility of language. He pisses and he cries. He pisses tears of anxiety, tears of sorrow, tears for the impotence of the human race in the face of the great cosmic mystery. He will also vomit, but not till later... at about three in the morning, when the pain in his head becomes unbearable because those bastards make their beer with rotten malt. (Dorra becomes 'Balkan man') The world of business is full of thieves. And swindlers. If you want a decent beer, it's got to be foreign. And even then, you have to check that the labels aren't fake. Because today if it's worth making, it's worth faking. That's why this country will never get out of the hole it's in. Because everybody is a thief or a faker. We've faked our history, we've faked our future, we don't stand a chance, we've missed the boat, we're the bums of Europe, we're a nation of gypsies, we don't even know where we really come from, we've never been free. We've never had a proper country, we've never been independent, we'll never rid ourselves of communism, communism has changed us down to the bone, we don't... ('Balkan man'vomits) Aaaargh... (Pause. Dorra becomes herself again) At three in the morning, he lays his head on his wife's breast. He needs her warmth, he needs her to caress him while he sheds tears of communal, transcendental, cosmic bitterness... He lays his head on his wife's breast because this breast so warm, so sweet, so welcoming reminds him of his mother... Oh, his mother, the only person in the whole world who always understood him, who always loved him, who always had faith in him... In the arms of his ever-nagging wife, he is searching for the security he felt nestled in the arms of his mother. And his soul is bleeding because he hasn't seen his mother since his sister's wedding, because his mother has grown old, because his mother is far away, because his mother has been dead for two years, because his mother has been dead for ten years, because his mother left him when he was only five years old... Do you realise what kind of a childhood I had? Deprived of a mother's love from the age of five? (Dorra once again becomes 'Balkan man') Do you? Shit, you don't understand at all, you don't care, all you want is for me to give you my pay-packet on pay day and keep me locked up in this house... (Change of tone, reverts to herself) Yes, at three in the morning, Balkan man is a frail creature, who must be handled with care or his soul might break into a thousand pieces. But he can be nagged later as he gets ready for work. Between seven and eight, when he's shaving in slow motion in front of a mirror he doesn't recognise himself in, his wife can finally say to him: Look at you, is that really you? You don't even recognise yourself... look at the state you're in, the state you came home in, look at your shirt, look at your torn trousers, look at those stains, why ;ire you doing this to me, me and the children, you don't care, why, why are you doing this to me? Because of his hangover, he finds it hard to answer, he won't answer, he's in a daze, as if in a bubble separating him from the outside world, then he'll have a black coffee, very black and very strong, he won't eat, because when you've got a hangover like that you can't face food... And then he'll go to work without saying a word, without looking at his wife, without even looking at his children, extremely uncomfortable in the shirt, all clean and freshly ironed, that his wife has made him put on. All day, this clean shirt will be like a silent reproach from his wife, a reproach that his wife has stuck to his skin, heavy to bear, impossible to forget, a sort of cage that will remind him with every move that he's a prisoner for life with several mouths to feed, including his own.

SCENE 13 DORRA Do you want me to tell you how I was raped? KATE No, Dorra. DORRA Yes you do, you want me to tell you how they raped me. KATE No, Dorra, I don't want you to tell me anything. DORRA Yes you do. You want me to tell you in detail how they raped me. KATE No, Dorra, I don't want you to tell me that. DORRA Yes you do, it's for your report. KATE I'm not making a report, Dorra. DORRA Yes you are, you're making a report for the Psychiatric Clinic in Boston. KATE No, Dorra, I'm not making a report for the Psychiatric Clinic in Boston. DORRA But you do work for the Psychiatric Clinic in Boston. You're American. You're called Kate. KATE I am American, I am called Kate, but I'm not making a report for the Psychiatric Clinic of Boston. DORRA There were five of them. KATE I don't want to know, Dorra. DORRA You live in Boston. KATE Yes. DORRA There were five of them. KATE I don't want to know, Dorra.

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DORRA You live in Boston. You'll be going back to Boston soon. KATE Yes, I live in Boston, but I won't be going back to Boston soon. DORRA There were five of them. But I don't know if they were Muslims, or Croats or Serbs. You see, in Bosnia, everyone speaks Serbo-Croat. KATE I have to go now, Dorra. DORRA You have to note down in your report that I don't know whether they were Muslims, or Croats or Serbs. KATE Good-bye, Dorra. You can call me whenever you want to. DORRA (in tears) Go home, Kate. Go home! SCENE 14 KATE Observation number three. The subject snapped out of her state of torpor. That's not to say that the subject is getting better. She's trying to come to terms with the world through aggression. It is imperative that somebody is with her at all times to absorb her negative energy. SCENE 15 KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE
Hello, Dorra. ... I would like to speak with you, Dorra. ... I'd like us to be friends. ... I brought you some tulips. ... But I'm afraid I've no idea whether you like tulips. ... May I put them here? ... I'd very much like to speak with you, Dorra. ... Tomorrow is the longest day and the shortest night of the year... ... It's the summer solstice... ... There'll be a party... ... Everyone's going down to the lake... ... If you like, we could go for a walk by the lake. ... It's a very beautiful lake. It's called Lake Constance. ... Good-bye, Dorra.

SCENE 16 KATE (looking at her collection of rare stones) Tell me, Daddy, what is Europe? It's nothing but a pile of old stones. Tell me, Grandpa, what is Ireland? It's a country made of stones, a country made of stones scattered like this... (She gestures) Just plain stones, or old stones? Stones that are good for nothing. But aren't there stones that are good for something? No, all stones are good for nothing. Tell me, Daddy, is that an old stone? No, that's a lump of cement. But an old stone, what's it like? An old stone is much bigger, and it's almost black... (A beat) As black as Betty? No, not as black as Betty. When I told my nanny, Betty, that Europe was full of black stones, but not as black as her, she started to laugh. She's very smart, your daughter, Mrs McNoil. You should . have called her Europe. But I wasn't called Europe. I was called Kate. Tell me, Mommy, what does 'Kate' mean? Nothing. Nothing?

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Nothing. And I started to cry. How could my name mean nothing? Well, sure, it means Kate. And McNoil, what does that mean? That means McNoil. And why did the McNoils leave Ireland? What!? Uh-huh, I know you left Ireland. Why did you leave Ireland? Grandpa told me that all the McNoils left Ireland. Go ask him and let me be! Grandpa, why did you leave Ireland? (A beat) Because there were too many stones on my land... How many stones were there on your land?... One day I started to count the stones that I found on my land. And I counted them for ten years. Every single day, I collected about a hundred stones... That's about thirty-six thousand stones every year. After ten years, I'd collected ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine stones. And that's when I said stop: There are too many stones. (A beat) Too many stones. And we went to America. (A beat) Too many stones. That's Europe. Too many stones, that's Europe. One day, Europe will sink under the weight of all those stones. (Kate does her daily jog, running on the spot) Actually, Europe has already begun to sink. (A beat) This was my first image of Europe: a huge mountain of stones, a sort of stone iceberg slowly sinking on the other side of the ocean. But at the foot of this mountain there was something - a little garden with two or three frail, sickly little trees... and that's where I saw my grandfather, armed with a pickaxe, on his knees, on his land, scratching out a hundred stones a day from the earth. (A beat) I think it's this image that made me go to Bosnia. (A beat) When I was told I'd be working with specialist teams opening up the mass graves, I suddenly saw in front of me the image of my grandfather digging up stones. Every one of us McNoils is a born digger. But I was digging up corpses.

SCENE 17 KATE Hello, Dorra. DORRA You lied to me. KATE I have never lied to you, Dorra. DORRA You don't need me. KATE Yes I do. DORRA You don't need me. KATE I need you, Dorra. DORRA What do you want to know? KATE I don't know. DORRA What do you want to understand? KATE I don't know. All I know is that I cracked up. DORRA Do you have children? KATE Two girls. And I haven't seen them for six months. DORRA You're mad. KATE No. DORRA What's Boston like? KATE It's a beautiful city. DORRA Do you have any photos? KATE Of my girls? DORRA No, of Boston. KATE Yes, I'll bring you some photos of Boston tomorrow. DORRA I hate being interrogated, Kate. KATE But I'm not interrogating you. DORRA Yes you are, Kate. You Americans, you're so obsessed with psychotherapy... And I hate being interrogated. KATE But I'm not interrogating you. DORRA You make it seem as if you're not interrogating me, but you're actually torturing me with all your clever therapeutic techniques. KATE I swear to you, Dorra, that I'm not here as a doctor. DORRA You're all so obsessed with psychotherapy. KATE You must live, Dorra. DORRA I'm not sure I want to live, Kate. KATE You have to live, Dorra. DORRA I don't care what you think I should do. Don't try and sell me all those stupid cliches about life being the strongest force and so on. KATE No, Dorra.

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DORRA Life isn¶t the strongest force. KATE I don¶t know. DORRA Death is the strongest force. KATE I don¶t know. DORRA And brute strength is the strongest force of all. KATE I don¶t know. DORRA Do you know why I¶m still alive, Kate? KATE No... Yes... DORRA Because I have discovered that God exists, Kate. KATE Yes DORRA And I hate him, Kate. I hate him. Before, I didn't believe he existed. But after, I said to myself: No... so many atrocities only make sense if God wants to feed himself on them. And since then, without being a believer, I hate him. And that's why I'm still alive. I hate him so much that I cannot die. Quite simply, I cannot die because hate is keeping me alive. Do you understand, Kate? Are you a believer, Kate? KATE I don¶t know.
Dorra begins to methodically pull the petals off the tulips Kate brought on her last visit.

DORRA You could never force me to live, Kate. You and your clever techniques - they just make me laugh. KATE I know, Dorra. DORRA You're so naive, Kate, that I'm actually getting to like you. KATE ... DORRA I like you so much, Kate. And, because I like you so much, I'm going to do something for you. KATE What? DORRA You know, Kate, I know how I'm going to die. But, I still haven't decided when I'm going to die. You can understand, Kate, because you're an intelligent woman, and you understand that I cannot live like this. So, because you're so nice, I'm going to tell you, and you alone, when I'm going to die. KATE When? DORRA I'll tell you soon, one day before... SCENE 18 KATE Observation number four. (A beat) The subject alternates between aggression and moments of silent self-absorption. These whims are actually a good sign, a sign that she is capable of entering into a new relationship with the outside world. It's too early to submit her to questions about the circumstances which provoked her trauma. At this stage, one can only test her memory through exercising great patience.

SCENE 19 KATE Hello. DORRA ... KATE How are you, Dorra? DORRA ... KATE Did you know there's a TV set downstairs? You could watch it if you like. DORRA ... KATE I've brought you some photos of Boston. Would you like to see them? DORRA ... KATE (putting the album on the table) I'll leave them there. You can look at them when you like. DORRA ... KATE Would you like me to show them to you now? DORRA ... KATE I'll show them to you whenever you want. DORRA Kate... KATE Yes... DORRA That lake, is it really Lake Constance? KATE Yes.

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DORRA Does that mean we're in Switzerland? KATE No, we're in Germany. But the Swiss border is only a few hundred metres away. You can actually see Switzerland from the window. DORRA Where? KATE Come on, I'll show you Switzerland. (Kate leads Dorra to the window.) KATE See those houses on the hill? That's Switzerland. DORRA Are you sure? KATE Yes. And here, we're in Germany. Left is Germany. Right is Switzerland. DORRA And the other side of the lake? KATE That's still Switzerland. ( moment's silence.) DORRA Kate... KATE Yes, Dorra... DORRA How did I get here? KATE You were transferred here because you were very ill. DORRA It's crazy. I always wanted to see Switzerland... And Germany... KATE And now you can. DORRA Yes. It's well placed, this window. You can see Switzerland and Germany at the same time. What is it here, a hospital? KATE It's a sort of convalescent home. DORRA And why is 'USA' marked on everything? KATE Where do you see 'USA' marked? DORRA (turns the chair round) Here. 'USA'. There's also an inventory number: 6632D. So, America has sent me chair number 6632D? KATE That's because this used to be a medical facility for the American army. DORRA For the insane? KATE For the sick in general. DORRA Kate... KATE Yes. DORRA I want to leave here now. KATE ... DORRA Did you hear me, Kate? KATE ... DORRA Kate? KATE ... DORRA Kate! KATE Yes... DORRA Did you hear what I said? KATE Yes. DORRA (hysterical) I want to leave here at once. I don't want America to give me chair number 6632D. I don't want this blanket 32507F. I want to leave at once! I want to get out of here! (tearful) I want to go... KATE Go where?

Dorra and Kate are eating together. There are flowers on the table, a bottle of rose wine. A relaxed atmosphere, they become a little drunk and there's a real complicity between them.

DORRA (eating) As soon as he's had his first drink, a sense of history is awakened in Balkan man. In the seediest dive, wherever he can get legless, whether it's in Zagreb, Tirana, Athens, Bucharest, Sofia, Ljubljana or Skopje, Balkan man instantly becomes an internationalist, brimming with neighbourly love. He then sees the whole world through the philosophy of 'but'. But is the key word to the Balkan soul, the mirror of their thought, the line where banal small talk crosses over into finely nuanced dialectic!
Gypsy music. Or perhaps Dorra sings a snatch of a gypsy tune. In the following monologues, it isn't Dorra who speaks, rather it's her memories and her life experience. She enters into the spirit of each Balkan man'

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who churns out, year in year out, the same old cliches, the same well-worn insults and spiteful comments directed at his 'Balkan brothers' of another nationality.

DORRA (under the skin of Balkan man) Gypsies, I love 'em! I've got nothing against them. Come on, gypsy, give us a song! No, gypsies are great, they go way back, there's something about them that's both mysterious and joyful... But at the same time... they're all thieves, you've got to watch them, they steal horses, sheep, chickens, children... Enough's enough, and to top it all, now they're even stealing our own sacred folklore they're selling CDs of our most beautiful songs in the West and making millions of dollars out of it.
(The game continues. Albanian music) The Albanians, poor souls... I had an Albanian classmate at the University. He came from Kosovo. He was quiet, discreet, thrifty. He graduated top of the class... yes, nice people, the Albanians, especially the Catholics from the north... no, can't say I've got anything against the Albanians, they're probably the oldest race in the Balkans... But, you have to recognise that in Europe today they're the lowest of the low... Enver Hodja really dumped them in the shit - luckily for them they got aid, the whole world had them queuing up, the Yugoslavs, the Russians, the Chinese, then they fell out with all of them, and now they're all unionists, and all they think about is Kosovan independence as if that could solve all their problems... (They clink glasses) Good health! KATE Cheers! Bulgarian music. Dorra, letting herself go more and more, clicks her fingers and sings. DORRA (As another 'Balkan man' speaking of his 'Balkan brothers') The Bulgarians; oh the Bulgarians, they're great! Very good gardeners - my mother only ever bought vegetables from her Bulgarian greengrocer - you should have seen his gherkins and the yoghurt, there's nothing better! Bulgarian yoghurt really is the best - the taste of Bulgaria, and their roses, they're simply amazing, their rose petal jam - you've never tasted anything like it, it's delicious... yes, I really like the Bulgarians... But let's not forget they're a frustrated lot - they're the ones who started the first Balkan War, they wanted a country bigger than they needed... those Bulgarians, they wanted the whole of Macedonia to grow their gherkins in, and even today they say the Macedonians are really Bulgarians... they've Bulgarised the names of all the Turks who live there... that's the Bulgarians for you - you can only get on with them if you put them in their place. Cheers! KATE Cheers! They clink glasses and hug. Dorra continues the game. Turkish music. Kate fills their glasses and gradually begins to participate in the game.

KATE It's Turkish! DORRA Yes, it's Turkish. KATE So, the Turks... DORRA (as another 'Balkan man') The Turks: I respect the Turks... the Turks... now there's a force to be reckoned with, one foot in Asia, one foot in Europe... the Turks, they don't understand the word 'border', never underestimate the Turks! I went to Istanbul this summer - it's amazing what you find there... still a great empire... the Turks, we do most of our business with them now, because the French, the Italians and the English are so far away. It takes them too long to even get to us. The Turks are hard workers, you've seen how many of them there are in Germany, and they're all working...There are four million unemployed in Germany but the Turks are all working. It's true, a few months ago, a Turk opened a bakery near where I live, and now I only ever eat Turkish bread and it's good... the Turks will gradually return to the Balkans, you'll see - me, I don't actually have any Turkish friends myself, but I still respect them. But I don't like them putting our own bakers out of business - that's crazy, they'll say we're no longer capable of making our own bread and they just come in to show us how to do it. I don't like it. They come in with their electric cookers that they've bought in the West with our money, because they're the same Turks who've plundered us for four centuries, even five. And on top of that, they're not even Europeans, the Turks, but they're already part of NATO and you'll see - they'll be joining the European Community before us as well.
They clink glasses and drink. Jewish music.

KATE That's... DORRA The Jews...

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KATE Ah! So... I like the Jews... DORRA Some of my best friends are Jewish, I once had some Jewish neighbours... KATE When I was a kid, I used to play with the Jewish kids in our neighbourhood... DORRA That's it... I think it's a shame myself that the Jews have gradually left our country over the years. In the town where I was born, between the two world wars, there were five thousand Jews, five thousand Germans, and only four thousand of us. Did you know that? I thought it was okay because all the Jews were businessmen or intellectuals. My history teacher at high school was a Jew, the dentist my mother dragged me to was a Jew... when I started to learn the violin, the lady who taught me was a Jew. And then nearly all of them left for Palestine. No, the Jews are good people, and what's more, wherever they settle the economy flourishes... KATE But... DORRA Ah ha!. You catch on fast... But... let's not forget that they crucified Our Lord Jesus Christ. And, when they saw that communism wasn't working in the East and that life was getting worse and worse, they all left, en masse, despite the fact those same countries had given them nationality... Cheers! KATE Cheers!
The game continues. Serbian music.

KATE So who's next?... DORRA The Serbs... KATE The Serbs, I like the Serbs... DORRA Actually my wife's Serb, of all the Slavs in the Balkans the Serbs are the fiercest... they have a primitive soul, a savage side that has made history tremble... these Serbs, they have a crazy charm considering they're melancholy by nature, which is precisely why they're such revellers and militants because they have this ancestral melancholy - it's in their guts, yes, the Serbs are hot- blooded, their blood actually boils, it burns their skin. The Serbs, they always have to be on the move, always restless... I swear to you, my wife's a Serb, the Serbs - this endless delirium they have is rather appealing... KATE But... DORRA But, they exaggerate everything, in fact, they exaggerate all the time. They have no limits, the Serbs, they're pure-blooded nationalists, they're completely crazy, all they think about is their empire, lost in the fourteenth century, their martyred King Stefan... actually they haven't done a lot since then - pig-farmers, dreaming of a Greater Serbia. I've had them up to here, the Serbs, and what's more, my ex-wife who was a Serb left me for a motherfucker of a Serb, for a good for nothing mother-fucker, a prime example of his race.
The women hug, eat, drink. The game continues. Croatian music.

KATE (with her mouth full) That's... DORRA (with her mouth full) The Croats... KATE The Croats, yes, I like the Croats... DORRA It's beautiful in Croatia. It's clean, it's impressive... you've seen the cathedral they've got in Zagreb - the Croats, you can see they're Catholics, you can see they're part of Latin civilisation... Latin, the Pope, the spirit of Venice, the Croats, a fine spirit, refined, they're like the Adriatic Sea, they have an openness, an insight, they're westernised Slavs... I mean, they did well to get rid of the Cyrillic alphabet and start to use the Roman one. That put them a hundred years ahead of everybody else... No, the Croats, I know them well - they're our twin brothers... KATE (eating, her mouth full) But... DORRA But you know, nobody can hurt you like your own brother. That's what they're like, the Croats - they stab you in the back, constantly betray you... you saw what they did in forty-one. They all went over to the Nazis, all of them in the end, all except Tito because that's what the Croats are like - all Ustashi, and even now they're in league with the Germans, that's their real homeland. Oh, the Croats. (A beat) Here's to us! KATE To us!
(Greek music. Dorra dances in her chair.)

KATE Oh, I know that, it's Greek. DORRA (dancing) The Greeks... KATE The Greeks, ah, I adore the Greeks... DORRA You can really have a good time with the Greeks. KATE Have you seen how they dance?

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DORRA They're wild, the Greeks, they're beautiful, the Greeks... once a Greek becomes your friend, he gives you every-thing... you might say they've made their mark on history, the Greeks - they laid the foundations of civilisation... KATE But... DORRA (stops dancing) But you know, the modern Greeks are nothing compared to the ancient Greeks... modern Greeks believe they're the direct descendants of Pericles! Ha, that makes me laugh... have you seen what their national guard wear?... KATE Peasant costume! DORRA Ah, the Greeks, a nation of unscrupulous shop-keepers... you know they're building motorways with money from the European Community now... KATE (opening a bottle of champagne) No! DORRA Yes!
The sound of the cork popping. The girls drink champagne. The game continues. Hungarian music. The alcohol gradually goes to their heads.

KATE The... DORRA The Hungarians... KATE Oh yes, I like the Hungarians... DORRA They're a race apart, the Hungarians... you've heard their language? KATE It's not like any other language. DORRA You can't understand a word. There's no Latin in it... KATE Nor Slav... DORRA Nor Greek... KATE Nor Turkish! DORRA Nor German. KATE It's all... Hungarian! DORRA That's the thing about the Hungarians - they're not like anybody else... they're rebellious; they're domineering... you remember how they dared to rise up against Moscow in fifty-six? Crazy - they wanted to throw Communism out even then! They had guts, those Hungarians, and they paid for it... even so, you know they had a better life than we did after that, even under Janos Kadar - more freedom, more small businesses, proof that big brother Russia had more respect for his little Hungarian brother than he had for his other little brothers... that's the Hung-arians, for you, tough as anything right throughout history... virile! KATE But... DORRA ... But they're profiteers, and megalomaniacs and they're the servants of the Austrians... did they really think that their Austro-Hungarian empire was going to last a thousand years? It's their imperial arrogance that's ruined them, they just don't know when to stop...
Thee game continues. Romanian music.

KATE Oh no! Will it ever end? DORRA Well, there's a lot of us in the Balkans you know. The Romanians... KATE (feigning weariness) I like the Romanians... DORRA They're the only Latins in the Balkans. When they speak, you'd think it was French and between the wars, do you know what Bucharest was called? 'Little Paris', I really like the Romanians, and there's so many of them, and their women... it's amazing what a hit Romanian whores are now in Turkey even ours are starting to learn Romanian now so they can pass themselves off as Romanians in Istanbul... yes, I really like Romanians... KATE But... DORRA ... But they're too fatalistic and they're really two-faced, always popping up on the winning side... and their language, it's riddled with Slavic words and what's more they say they're not part of the Balkans, that the Balkans stop at the Danube but there's nothing more Balkan than a Romanian, I can tell you... KATE (cutting off Dorra to speed up the game) The Muslims... DORRA The Bosnian Muslims? They've really suffered, the people there - they deserve their own country... you saw how they held out in Sarajevo? KATE You've got to admire them. DORRA They've got guts, the Muslims. I really like them, the Bosnian Muslims... KATE But...

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DORRA ... But let's not forget, they're originally Islamified Slavs. KATE What, traitors?! DORRA Actually, it's hard to know what to call them. Last century they were 'Turks', then Tito had this idea of inventing a Muslim nation - something that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. At the time, Saudi Arabia protested... KATE (drunk and victorious) The blacks... DORRA Who? KATE The blacks... DORRA There aren't any blacks in the Balkans. KATE Yes, but... DORRA But... KATE But, this but - it's everywhere. Do you think this Balkan 'but' only exists in the Balkans? No, you'd be kidding yourself, honey... Come to my country some day if you want to hear the tune of the 'Balkan but' sung American style... (A beat) The blacks, the blacks are great, I like the blacks, music is in their blood... it's incredible, they invented the blues, the blacks, they invented gospel, and they're great boxers, the blacks... DORRA I like the blacks... KATE But... DORRA But... KATE But... DORRA But... KATE But the problem is... there's 'a black problem' DORRA 'A black question'... KATE Because they're not like us... DORRA (pretending to catch on) Because they're black! KATE No. We have to be politically correct here... Because they are 'people of colour'... but they have no culture... and they smell... and they're violent... and they're always rioting... and they're trouble-makers... and they're drug-dealers... See! And don't think it's just the god-dam fucking niggers who fuck us up... No... there's also... DORRA (more and more drunk) The Indians... KATE That's riiiight! The 'Native American Indians'... DORRA Who are beautiful... KATE ... with their feathers and things ± very decorative... DORRA But... KATE But... DORRA But... KATE But it's better when they're deeeaad! A good Injun is a dead Injun! DORRA Shiiiiit! KATE Oh, yeah. And then there's the Mexicans... DORRA But not in the Balkans... KATE But... DORRA & KATE ... The 'Balkan but' is everywhere... DORRA So, what about the Mexicans? I like the Mexicans... KATE Yes, the Mexicans are nice... DORRA They wear big hats... KATE They're called sombreros... DORRA And ponchos... KATE And guitars... DORRA But... KATE But... DORRA But... KATE But, they all want to come to our country, the goddam fucking Mexicans, our United States of America... these bastard Mexicans, every day, every single day there are thousands of goddam fucking Mexicans sneaking across the border to come and work illegally in our country... Oh, my God. DORRA And then there's the Puerto Ricans... KATE Oh yes, the Puerto Ricans... DORRA I like the Puerto Ricans... KATE But... DORRA But...

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KATE (now playing the full-blooded racist, banging her fist on the table) I've had the bloody Puerto Ricans up to here - they make me puke! DORRA Then there's the.. . KATE The... DORRA The Aztecs... KATE Oh, I like the Aztecs... DORRA The Aztecs are nice... KATE Yes, but... DORRA But... KATE But... DORRA But they're Aztecs! There you go! KATE Ah yes, that's it, yes that's fucking it, I forgot, they're fucking Aztecs... DORRA Just like the... KATE The Patagonians... DORRA The Patagonians, yes... KATE The Patagonians... the Patagonians are nice... DORRA But... KATE But... DORRA & KATE They're Patagonians! Shit!
Hock music. They dance.

SCENE 21 KATE There are certain techniques for opening up a mass grave. So, I took a course in the excavation of mass graves. A mass grave can't just be dug up. The excavation of a mass grave is, above all, an act governed by law. The excavator is primarily in the position of uncovering a murder. He is in the position of someone who must, at one and the same time, extricate the corpse of the victim, or victims, whilst not actually touching anything. If the excavator is not totally disposed to this work, he risks erasing the traces of a murder whilst at the same time trying to decipher them. (A beat) The excavator discovers the body of a victim and, very often, the evidence of how the crime was committed... for example, bullets if the victim was shot. But all objects found in the vicinity of a victim in a mass grave have a significance in the eyes of the law, because they could help reconstruct the crime and the context in which the crime was committed. Consequently, the responsibility placed on the excavator is enormous. He must under no circum-stances separate the corpse from personal effects that could help in its identification. The excavator must make an inventory of everything, down to the smallest detail, without damaging any of this material. (A beat) A mass grave is excavated in stages. There is first the surveyance of the area, to identify any potential mass grave sites. There is then the analysis of the layers of earth, and the way those layers of earth cover the body, or bodies. Depending on the nature of the layers of earth and their composition (earth, sand, stones, rubble etc) the most suitable tools must be chosen for the excavation. The third stage is the excavation itself. The fourth stage is the preservation of the unearthed materials. The fifth stage is the interpretation of what's been found. (A beat) All this work is carried out by teams. In each team there's a topographer, a photographer, an archaeologist, a forensic expert, an attorney, military experts to reconstruct the military context in which the victims were killed or executed, and a psychologist. (A beat) The psychologist must see to it, that the other members of the team don't crack up during the operation. If he sees that a member of the team is no longer in a fit state to continue, he must intervene to remove him from the site, make an evaluation of his emotional state and advise him to interrupt the work for a while. (A beat) That's why I came to Bosnia. To work as a psychologist with the teams excavating mass graves. And so I became an excavator of mass graves. Me, Kate McNoil, thirty-five years old, a graduate of Harvard University, a specialist in obsessional neurosis and in psychoanalytical treatment, author of a seven hundred and seventy page doctoral thesis on Freud and his concepts of primary narcissism... married, the mother of two daughters, me, Kate McNoil - I should be ashamed of myself, I haven't seen my family in six months and I don't have time to think about them much because there's something more urgent that's taken over my life - to excavate, excavate, excavate the mass graves of Bosnia in the name of the United States, the Allies, western civilisation, the UN, justice, truth, in the name of the past and of the future. It's hard to carry all that on your shoulders Kate McNoil, but you'll never regain peace of mind unless you understand why.

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Dorra rings the bell. She rings several times, more and more desperate. Kate arrives.

DORRA I want an abortion! KATE Yes, Dorra... DORRA Now... KATE Yes, Dorra... DORRA Now! KATE Whatever you want... (Pause) But you'll have to wait a while. DORRA I don't want to wait. I'm dirty. I'm dirty with this thing inside me... KATE Yes... DORRA Kate, I don't want it to start moving. KATE It won't move. DORRA It's already moving! I can feel it. (Pause. She stares into space.) I can feel it pushing. And I don't want it... I want someone to get it out of me. KATE It can be done in a month's time... DORRA Kate... KATE Yes? DORRA I want something to drink. KATE Yes, Dorra. DORRA Something strong. KATE Yes. DORRA Some vodka. KATE Yes. Kate exits. SCENE 23
Dorra, her belly swollen, lies on her bed, in a state of great gitation. She shudders and trembles. She's sweating. Kate stands by the bed. Everything she says resembles more a kind of therapy than a confession, so her tone is not a normal tone. She talks, hardly pausing for breath, trying to console Dorra. Dorra barely listens to her. Or perhaps doesn't listen at all.

KATE Tell me, Grandpa, what is America? America is a heap of stones piled up like this. (To Dorra) I must tell you the story of my grandfather's arrival in the States. He told this story two or three times a year, when all the family got together at Christmas, New Year's or Easter. (A beat) Tell me, Grandpa, how did you come to America? In a big boat... As big as that? No, bigger... As big as this room? No, bigger... As big as this house? No, even bigger than that... As big as the house, the garden and the chicken-shed? As big as the whole block... I don't believe you. Here, see this boat... (She gets out an old photo) Here, here, on the third deck, that's me. And that's your grandmother. And that's your father... But it can't be, he's even smaller than me. Well, he was then, that's true, even smaller than you... And there? That there's your Uncle Sean. And that there's your Uncle Simeon. And that there's your Uncle Billy. And that there's your Aunt Molly. And that there's your Auntie Derbhla. And that there's your grandmother who died last year... And how come I'm not there? Because you were born here... And the boat? What about the boat?... Is the boat made of stones too? No, sweet- pea, the boat isn't made of stones... DORRA (delirious) No! No! No! KATE Once in America, my grandfather became a stone-cutter. The stones never forgave him. All those stones he'd collected from his land for all those long years and all those others that had yet to be collected, they all pursued him to America. He was always convinced that the stones from Ireland and the stones from America had joined forces against him. Pause. DORRA This child doesn't have a father. KATE Yes it does. DORRA This child doesn't have a name.

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KATE Yes it does. It'll have your name. DORRA It will never be my child. I didn't want it. Nobody wanted it. This child doesn't have a mother or a father. It doesn't exist, Kate! KATE Yes it does. It's growing inside you. You're its mother. DORRA And the father? Who will be its father? If ever it asks me who its father is, what will I say? Who is the father? KATE War. War is its father. DORRA I could never tell it that. How could I tell it that? How could you say to your child: "Listen, my darling, War is your father..." No child would ever understand that. KATE It will understand one day. (Pause) But I must tell you how my grandfather became a stone-cutter. (She speaks in her grandfather's voice) First off, we disembarked at Ellis Island. The Immigration Office was there. I knew you had to look clean and neat and give a good impression. As we were Irish and spoke good English, we were accepted right away. So then we took the boat to Manhattan. No sooner had we arrived, I saw a fella waving a placard that said: "Woolworth Building Company. Good stone workers wanted". (A beat) I'd never been a stone worker. All I wanted was to find a little plot of land with no stones, somewhere in the west, and to work it with my family. DORRA No! No! No! KATE But I only had ten dollars in my pocket. I looked at my wife, my five children and at my mother, none of who knew where we were going to sleep that night, and so I decided to try my luck. (A beat) It was the first offer of work I'd come across in America and I was afraid I wouldn't find another one. So I went up to the fella and I said to him: I like stones. "I like stones." And he asked me: Have you ever cut stones? "Have you ever cut stones?" And I said: "Yes." And he said: "And where was that?" "In my garden," I replied. In my garden. And the fella considered this a highly satisfactory answer and offered me the job at fifty cents an hour. And I looked behind me and I saw there was already a queue of about twenty men who wanted to cut stones. And I said: "Okay". And I cut stones for thirty years, for every skyscraper in New York. I worked on the Woolworth Building, which was seven hundred and eighty seven feet high. And then I worked on the Walter Chrysler Building, which beat the Woolworth Building because it was one thousand and fifty feet high. Then I worked on the Empire State Building, which was one thousand, two hundred and forty-six feet high, and then the Irving Trust Company Building and the Rockerfeller Centre and so on and so on... I cut thousands of stones, for floors, for ceilings, for decorations, for pillars, for arches, for stairs, for balustrades, for lobbies... That's what I did. For thirty years I built up like this all those stones I had collected like that in Ireland. Pause. DORRA Kate! KATE Yes? DORRA It's moving! KATE Are you sure? DORRA It woke me up. KATE That's good. I'll stay with you. DORRA It's eating too much. It's always hungry. It's hungry all the time, this thing. It's eating away at me, it's devouring me from the inside... I can hear it chewing... KATE I'm here. I'll stay with you. DORRA I can hear it pushing... It's climbing up my insides... And it's making me ill... I can't stand it... It's making me feel sick... You have to get it out, Kate. KATE It's too soon. DORRA I'm cold. It's making me cold. It's cold like a snake, and it's making me cold. I'm shivering. I can't sleep any more. I'm swollen like a barrel... It needs more and more room... I can't stand it... KATE Go to sleep. I'm here.
Another moment's silence. Dorra is in a restless sleep. Kate continues (sotto voce).

KATE When he was asked where he worked, my dad would say rather mysteriously: "For the emergency services of the biggest donor bank on the East Coast..." That meant they could wake him, for example, at two o'clock in the morning for the emergency transport of a kidney to Springfield or Worcester or Fall River or anywhere else in Massachusetts for that matter. Sometimes, he'd get home just in time to have breakfast with us. So what did you take last night, Daddy? I delivered a heart... my dad would say, staring into space. Very rarely did my dad get the chance to sleep a whole eight hours. Usually, after every 'delivery' he could only count on two or three hours rest. He'd fall straight to sleep, with the telephone by the bed. All through my childhood, I only ever saw him sleeping, rushing out, or coming home to sit straight down to the meal my mom had made. (A beat) So, Daddy, what did you take last night? I delivered a 'donor'... A donor usually

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meant someone who'd been smashed to pieces on the freeway or somewhere, whose vital organs were going to be speedily transplanted into some other poor unfortunate who needed a lung, a pancreas or a liver. The donor was either dead or dying, and the quality of the organ to be transplanted into the 'recipient' depended on the speed at which the two unfortunates could be brought together in the same operating theatre. There were some days my dad would also have to provide transport for the 'recipient'. "I saved him"... my dad would say at breakfast, and his face reminded me of the face of a priest on finishing his Sunday sermon. (A beat) But there were also, two or three times a year, nights or days that were quiet. Then, my dad would look at the sky and say: "It will be quiet tonight..." Nobody would need him that night. He wouldn't have to go anywhere, not for a skin graft, nor an eye-transplant, heart, kidney, blood, marrow... (A beat) But how do you know that tonight will be quiet, Daddy? "I just feel it..." my dad would say, looking out into the darkness as if some mysterious messenger out there was confirming via secret signs that tonight everything would be okay. Dorra suddenly wakes up. DORRA I saw him! KATE What do you mean you saw him? DORRA In the darkness! KATE When? DORRA Just now. He was bending over me. KATE What did he look like? DORRA He didn't have a face. KATE No face? DORRA No, just a... KATE A... DORRA A mouth... He was just a gaping mouth. KATE Sleep, Dorra. I'm here.

Dorra alone in the darkness. DORRA "I'm here..." Who are you? "It's me..." Who? "Me..." I can't see you. "Yes you can..." What do you want? Go away. "I'm hungry..." So what? "You have to give me something to eat..." You've already eaten my flesh. What more do you want me to give you? "You have to give me something to eat..." I've given you every drop of my blood. What more can I give you? "I'm hungry. You're my mother. You have to give me something to eat..." I'm not your mother. I didn't want to be your mother. I will never be your mother. You don't have a mother. "Yes I do. You're my mother. You have to give me something to eat..." I've got nothing left. There's nothing left of me to give you. I'm empty. Even my soul is empty..." If you don't give me something to eat, I'll scream..." Scream then! I want to hear you scream. (We hear a horrible scream. It's the scream of a woman being raped.) No! No! Stop it! (The scream continues.) No! No! For God's sake! Stop it! Stop it! (These are perhaps the words of a woman being raped.) No! Help! Help! Help! Stop! Kill me! Just kill me! (Pause) "So?..." Stop it. Stop it. "I've stopped. So?..." What do you want? "I've already told you. I want something to eat. Either you give me something to eat, or I'll start again..." No, please, don't. I'll give you something to eat. I'll give you something to eat...

Dorra, sitting up in bed, hunched over a plate of food. She is devouring a huge breakfast. She sobs as she eats. She eats, staring into space, her mouth too full, with jam and butter on her lips and on her chin.

DORRA "I'm here..." Who are you? "It's me..." Who? "Me..." I don't know who you are. "Stop this farce. You know exactly who I am..." No I don't know who you are. I don't know you. You don't exist. "But I do exist. And you're going to bring me into the world..." No, I'll never bring you into the world. "Yes you will, you have to bring me into the world..." No, I don't, I don't have to bring you into the world. "You don't have a choice. You're my mother. And a mother has to bring her child into the world..." You don't have the right to be born. You're a child of war. You don't have parents. You were born of horror. You're the child of horror. "Listen, if you don't bring me into the world, I'll scream..."

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The horrible scream of a woman being raped. Kate enters.

KATE I'm here. DORRA I don't want to bring it into the world. KATE Dorra... DORRA I don't want to bring it into the world... It's asking me to bring it into the world, but I don't want to... Why is it screaming like that? Tell it to stop screaming like that. KATE Dorra, if you don't want this child, give it to me. DORRA Yes, I will give it to you. KATE I'd like that. DORRA But take it now. KATE I can't take it now. But, if you bring it into the world and if you give it to me, then I'll take it right away. DORRA No, take it now. If you want it, take it now. KATE All right, I'll take it. (She lays down next to Dorra. She takes Dorra in her arms) Come on, let's go to sleep. SCENE 26
Kate is smoking. Her face looks twisted. We hardly recognise her. A diary lies open on the table.

KATE If you're in a forest near Srebrenica and you find, in a clearing, scattered in the grass over an area of about ten square metres the following objects: two hundred and forty-seven cartridges, a bicycle, headlamp, a teat from a baby's bottle, a beret with the letters UN barely decipherable, pieces of a stretcher, three packets of Drina cigarettes, eleven empty cans of Croatian beer, a broken alarm clock, a squashed tube of toothpaste, a piece of barbed wire about - three and a half metres long, the butt of a rifle, a plastic bag full of rotting potatoes, an Elvis T-shirt, a blackened military belt with the pouches for the grenades ripped off, a postcard of the Eiffel Tower with a few lines written on the back which are completely illegible... So, if you're in a forest near Srebrenica and you find these 11 things scattered in the grass, there's a one in two chance that somewhere in the vicinity there is a mass grave.
Dorra enters. Her stomach is now much bigger than the last lime we saw her.

DORRA (without looking at Kate) And that's why you cracked up? KATE Yes, that's why I cracked up. DORRA But nobody knew. KATE No, because I was the team psychologist. DORRA Was it after the seventh mass grave? KATE After the seventeenth. DORRA You could no longer bear to read the inventory lists attached to each unearthed corpse? KATE No. DORRA You could no longer bear to hear the sound of the pickaxes, the hoes, the trowels and the brushes as they beat and dug and scraped and swept. KATE No. DORRA And the preservation of the 'unearthed material', namely the handling of the corpses, which depended on their state of decomposition, you weren't able to bear that either. KATE No. DORRA And that course you'd taken on the excavation of corpses made you feel ashamed. KATE Yes. DORRA For example, that basic rule of excavation: to excavate the site cleanly, frequent sweeping of the site is one of the best guarantees for proper observation of an excavation... KATE (smoking, on the verge of tears) Yes. DORRA (taking Kate by the shoulders) And so you asked to be sent somewhere else. KATE Yes. DORRA (looking at Kate's open diary - it should be apparent that Dorr a has already read the diary) ...For example, here, to apply a new method, your cathartic method, to the therapeutic treatment of women who've suffered rape in Bosnia. Kate is motionless, perhaps in tears. Dorra kisses her.

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SCENE 27 Dorra is alone in the darkness. DORRA "I'm here..." What do you want? What more do you want? I've given you something to eat, what more do you want? "I don't know..." I don't want to hear you again. I've given you something to eat. Now, shut up. "I can't shut up. I'm frightened." Shut up. Leave me alone. I need to rest. 'Yes, but... I'm frightened..." I want to sleep. I don't want to hear you again. I want to rest. "I want you to give me a cuddle..." I don't want to cuddle you. No. I can't. I've given you something to eat. That's enough. "No. I want you to cuddle me a little. I'm frightened, and I want you to cuddle me..." I can't cuddle you. I don't know how to cuddle you. And I'm frightened too. "If you don't cuddle me, I'll scream..." SCENE 28
Dorra is alone.

DORRA Why do you want this child, Kate? Are you mad? You've already got two children. Your own children. And you have a husband. You have a family. Your life is somewhere else. Why stay here? You're not responsible, you're not to blame. You weren't born here. You're American. You weren't born in Europe. You were born in the United States. Yes, you have roots in Ireland. But Ireland, it's an island. It's a long way from Europe. It's very different to Europe. Anyway, it's not for you to play the role of penitent, breast-beating America here. You're not a representative of the American government. You're not the President of the United States. You're not the Special Envoy of the subconscious guilt of the United States of America.
Pause. Kate enters. DO RRA Why do you want this child, Kate? KATE Because I want it. DO RRA Can't you have any more children? KATE Yes I can. DO RRA So is it because you just love children? KATE Yes, I love children. (Pause) DO RRA Why do you want this child, Kate? KATE I don't know. DORRA You're mad, Kate. KATE No. DO RRA Do you want it for your Freudian experiments? KATE No. DORRA Are you sure? KATE No. DORRA Don't try to take on the role of the subconscious guilt of America. KATE No. DORRA So, why do you want the child, Kate? KATE Because I want it. DORRA I'm not going to give it to you, Kate. KATE Why? DORRA I'm not going to give this child to the United States. KATE I'm not the United States. I'm not a representative of the American government. I'm not the President of the United States. My roots are in Ireland! DORRA I'd rather it died than give it to the United States. KATE (at breaking point) I want it! That's all! After all the corpses I've dug up in your country, I have the right to go back to my country with this child! DORRA Stop it, Kate. You'll never have it. KATE (calm again, staring into the distance) Your belly is a mass grave, Dorra. When I think of your belly, I see a pit full of corpses, dried up, or swollen, or rotting... And, in this mass of corpses, there's something moving... A human being... Amongst all these dead, there's someone left alive... asking to be gotten out of there... (A beat) I'll never let you kill this child, Dorra. I came to your country to learn how to open up mass graves. And each time I opened one, I did it with the irrational hope that there'd be just one survivor... This child is a survivor, Dorra. And it must be saved - to be pulled out of there. There... It's as simple as that... It

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must be pulled out of that mass grave... (The noise of an aeroplane about to take off.) (Speaking to Dorra, but not addressing her directly, a suspended moment) How can I explain to you, Dorra, that nature fears a void? That the laws of nature have nothing to do with man's barbarity... So, your baby is a boy. As always happens after a war, there are more boys born than girls. Nature, Dorra, laughs at these bastards. She continues her work in spite of them. And her work remains, as always, mysterious and full of beauty. (A beat) I'm leaving soon, Dorra. I'm going home to my children.

SCENE 29 KATE (A letter in her hand) Dear Commander-in-Chief, as requested, I'm sending you the report on my activities over the past twenty-two months in Bosnia. May I remind you briefly that I was a member of the mission evaluating medical needs in Croatia and Bosnia, that I then became part of one of the teams responsible for identifying mass graves in the Krajna and Srebrenica areas, and that at my request I was later transferred to a NATO medical facility in Germany. I would like to confirm to you that as of April first, I wish to i wish to return to my work at the Psychiatric Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts. Thanking you for your understanding, (A beat) Kate McNoil. (Pause) DORRA (speaking to Kate, but not addressing her directly; imother suspended moment) How can I tell you, Kate, that I hate my country? That I no longer have a country? That I no loner want to go back there. That I no longer have a God. That all I want is to get as far away as possible from this cursed place, this hell... I don't want to see my house again... Because I no longer have a house. I don't want to know if my family is still alive... Even if the war ends, the place will stay cursed for years to come. It will be haunted by hate, by the cries of victims, and by shame. For years to come, the people living there will rack their brains to try and understand how all this was possible. Till the end of time, they'll ask the same questions: Who started it? Who was the worst? How could they, either collectively, or individually, sink to such a level?... (Pause) (To herself) How can I tell you, Kate, that I hate my country? KATE You can't hate your country. DORRA How can I tell you that I no longer have a country? KATE We're all born somewhere. DORRA How can I tell you that I never want to go back to where I was born. KATE You will some day. DORRA My country no longer has a God. My people killed him. KATE You'll find the need to believe again. DORRA How can I tell you that all I want is to run as far as possible from this cursed place, this hell. KATE One day you'll see your house again. DORRA I no longer have a house. KATE One day you'll want to know whether your family is still alive. DORRA There's nobody left alive in my heart. KATE There's an image of your country you'll always carry with you. DORRA You want to know what image of my country I carry inside me? Do you? My country is the image of a drunken soldier, with a rather surprised expression on his face, wiping his dagger on his trouser leg and putting it back in its sheath, then spitting on the corpse of the man whose throat he has just cut. (A beat) The image of my country is that of an old man leaving a column of refugees to lie in the grass to rest. Grass that hides an anti-personnel mine. (A beat) My country is like a mother who notices that the uniform of her dead son is missing a button. She hurries to sew one back on before he is buried. (A beat) My country is the father who spends all his time making a doll for his seven year old daughter, who's been dead for three hundred and forty-six days. (A beat) My country is a grandmother who has to flee from the approaching soldiers, and who, before leaving the house, kisses the porch. (A beat) My country is an old peasant who looks at the soldiers entering his village and asks them: "Are you on our side?"(A beat) My country is a residential district of Vukovar, renamed Burnt Tank Avenue. (A beat) My country is the inscription that you see everywhere in Sarajevo: Pazi! Snajper! Beware, Snipers! And the taste of my country is the soup handed out by the Red Cross. (A beat)

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The image of my country is, to be precise, that of three soldiers pissing on the burning embers of a house they have just destroyed. (A beat) Or, the image of a soldier writing on a wall in red spray paint: "This is Serbia."Two weeks later, written beneath: this is Croatia." A few days later, new words cover the old: " Idiots! This is a Post Office!" (A beat) Or, my country is an inscription written on a tree in Sarajevo: "Hello, I'm still alive."

Dorra writes a letter. DORRA Dear Kate, I don't really know what I'm going to do now. I've filed applications for immigration at several embassies: Canada, Australia, South Africa... I didn't want to go to America. M y baby is doing well. He weighs thirteen pounds now. When you called me last time, you wanted to know the exact moment I made the decision to keep him. I¶ll tell you about that moment. (A beat) One day, after you'd left, I went out to walk by the lake. As I walked, I looked at the water and the trees... And suddenly, a notice nailed to a tree caught my eye. I went to take a closer look, and this is what I read: "We would like to inform you that this tree is dead. It will be cut down week commencing April 2nd. In its place, for the pleasure of all visitors to this park, a sapling will be planted. (signed:) The Department of Parks & Gardens." (A beat) I read this once, twice, then several times more. And that's when I decided to keep my baby. (A beat) With love, Dorra. Lights fade down. The end.

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