Taiwo Afolabi presented the conversation Ecotheatre: Decolonizing the Colonized Narrative livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Wednesday 12 July at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 7 p.m. EAT (Nairobi, UTC + 3).
Climate justice is not complete without decentring colonial narratives and practices in Africa. For instance, many theatre projects/initiatives on climate action in Africa have been the brainchild of actors from the Global North. Which increases the tendency for such projects/initiatives to reinforce follow the colonial narrative. Although curators and co-facilitators of such projects are sometimes indigenes of African countries, the agendas of foreign interventions are imposed on the creative process. Also, the question of climate emergency and urgency has been a concern for Africans, but it did not become a global concern until the Global North deemed it so. Some of the questions for consideration include what are some colonial narratives that need to be changed. In what ways can the colonized narrative be decolonized? What are some of the values guiding Africa's framing and thinking about climate change? How can environmental stewardship and sustainability be re-centered in African theatre?
Jehoshaphat Philip Sarbah (Ghana) is a Research Data Manager (RDM) for the DAAD-funded Sustainable Development Goals Graduate school entitled Performing Sustainability: Cultures and Development in West Africa (a cooperative research project between the Universities of Cape Coast, Ghana; Maiduri, Nigeria; and Hildesheim, Germany. He is also the recording engineer for the A.W. Mellon-funded early-career cooperative research program project entitled Recording for Posterity (RePost): Ghanaian Musical Traditions and Futures. He holds a B.Mus. degree and an M.Phil. in Music Education from the University of Cape Coast.
Ogutu Muraya (Kenya) is a writer and dramatist whose work is embedded in the practice of orature. His art seeks new forms of storytelling in which socio-political aspects merge with the belief that art is an important catalyst for questioning ineluctable facts. He studied international relations at the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi/Kenya and graduated from the Academy of Theater and Dance at the University of the Arts in Amsterdam/Netherlands with an MA in 2016. He has been published in the Kwani ? Journal , Chimurenga Chronic , Rekto:Verso , Etcetera Magazine and NT Gent's The Golden Book series , among others. His performative works and storytelling have been featured in several theater performances and festivals including La MaMa (NYC/USA), Hay Festival (Wales/UK), HIFA (Harare/Zimbabwe), SICK! Festival (Manchester/UK), Ranga Shankara (Bangalore/India), Afrovibes Festival (Amsterdam), SPIELART Theaterfestival (Munich/Germany), Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Zurich/Switzerland), Festival Theaterformen (Brunswick/Germany), Theater is A Must Forum (Alexandria/Egypt), Theater Commons Tokyo (Tokyo/Japan) and within East Africa. Ogutu is based in Nairobi, where he continues his artistic practice and has also taught part time at the Department of Film and Performing Arts at KCA University. Currently he is running Maabara Atelier Group of companies which focus on performance incubation, touring, science and technology, investment, collaborations, film and creating art using the Maabara Method.