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Rest In Power, Alex Boraine

Alex Boraine at a book launch with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Alex Boraine at a book launch with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Dear Friends,

Alex Boraine Has Died.

In a world gone criminally mad, to lose such a man must make us doubly committed to finding more among the youth of the world to carry on the spirit of his fight.

Alex was a warrior who saw forgiveness as a weapon for understanding — a man who actually made a difference and helped save a nation from a punishing and violent revolution. Here is a memory paraphrase of a quote of his that demonstrates his love for emotional precision:

“Forgiveness is not the easy option, damnit! Forgiveness takes enormous courage and great strength of will. It’s so much bloody easier to give in to anger and righteousness. But you can’t have anger and righteousness…and also have healing. They don’t live in the same house.”

We are honored to say that Alex was a father to our work and a very special friend to all of us at Global Arts Corps. His calming smile balanced by his fierce passion was the antidote to capitulation. He was a beacon for forgiveness while risking his and his family’s life for justice and basic human rights. With Archbishop Desmond Tutu he served as Co-Commissioner of The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which acted on the premise that justice and truth were co equal. It was Alex’s book that gave me the idea of presenting the TRC through the eyes of the translators, which became the basis for the story of our production of “Truth in Translation”.

For us at Global Arts Corps. he was a constant and consistent inspiration. For me, he was a mentor. He literally taught us that hope resided in our despair and so we should respect both. He gave me courage when giving up would have been easier.

His son, Nick, an Associate Artistic Director of Global Arts Corps (and one of the actors who originated “Truth in Translation”), wrote me yesterday with the news. He wrote simply:

“A great light has gone out. Alex has passed – peacefully in his sleep. Eyes open, filled with wonder, a smile on his lips.
We are broken.
We will heal – just like he taught us.”

Yes we will, Alex.
Thank you.

–Michael Lessac, Artistic Director, Global Arts Corps