Unrehearsed Futures Episode #18: We Have Been Here Before livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 5 August 2021 at 5 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 10 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 11 a.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2).
What is the role of embodied creative practice in moments of resistance and rupture? How does the work of activism, political organizing and social movement building require re-imaginings of theatre and performance pedagogy?
Join creative social activists Pumelela Nqelenga and Alex Sutherland as they reflect on their work in building communities, coalitions, and collaborations.
Speaker 1: Pumelela Nqelenga
Organization/School: lecturer and activist | Centre for Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, University of Cape Town
Pumelela ‘Push’ Nqelenga is a PhD candidate and a lecturer at the Centre for Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Cape Town. She is an interdisciplinary practitioner who has been performing since 2008 in various productions. Nqelenga has a deep interest in Contemporary Nguni Performance, Site-Specific Performance and the role of the Black Female Body in Performance. She has directed, choreographed and curated student works at UKZN Pietermaritzburg. It is at UKZN where she molded her pedagogical approach towards ArtVisim at the peak of Fees Must Fall (2015-2017), where the curriculum was in direct conversation with the movement.
Speaker 2: Alex Sutherland
Organization/School: activist and arts educator | Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, Cape Town
Alex Sutherland is a current arts-educator-activist with the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education in Cape Town and a research affiliate at the University of Cape Town. From 2001-2017, she was a lecturer and associate professor in applied theatre at Rhodes University. She left full time academia after realizing that if we want to change the world, it will not happen within the academy. She is passionate about devising theatre in unlikely spaces and has facilitated dozens of original theatre pieces with youth from a street children’s shelter, men in prison, mental health care users in a psychiatric hospital, and young people from poor communities in Cape Town. Her current work involves developing arts-based pedagogies for political education with grass roots movements and organizations, supporting these movements to incorporate the arts in campaigns, education and activism, and facilitating access to the arts for political expression with young people. Her published research has focused on gender and theatre in prisons, the political possibilities of theatre spaces in rigid institutions such as psychiatric hospitals, and the development of politically engaged participatory arts methodologies with youth. She is a facilitator and member of the Global Play Brigade, a worldwide collective of improvisers and play educators.
Curator: Mwenya Kabwe
Organization/School: Centre for Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, University of Cape Town
Mwenya B. Kabwe is a Zambian-born maker of theatre and performance, a facilitator of creative processes, and a performer, writer, arts educator and scholar with migrant tendencies. Her creative practice is focused on contemporary African theatre and performance, immersive and site specific performance work, live art, collaborative and interdisciplinary art making, and re-imagining African futures. She has lectured and taught performance theory and practice in the Drama Departments at the University of Cape Town, Wits University and the Market Theatre Laboratory and is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Cape Town.