The Theatre and Performance (TAP) and Drama for Life (DfL) departments in the Wits School of Arts (WSOA) host this multi-site conference in partnership with internationally acclaimed arts and research association, Performance Studies international (PSi).
Themed Uhambo Luyazilawula (“embodied wandering practices”), the conference highlights practices of artists and scholars with indigenous and/or migrant roots in South Africa, and it places these practices and forms of research in dialogue and exchange with the work of artists and scholars in Africa and globally.
A first for Wits University and Africa, the conference will create opportunities for network development, collaborative research and artistic co-production between African countries, African universities, and African cultural sites/hubs.
This will result in the development of new studies, performances, artworks, projects and networks that will endure beyond the conference, thereby continuing the theme of journeying and mapping different spaces and cultures.
Supported by the fourth edition of the National Arts Council’s Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, the conference takes place across six cultural sites in Johannesburg including The Wits Theatre Complex, the Centre for the Less Good Idea, Market Theatre, Soweto Theatre, Constitution Hill, and the University of Johannesburg.
Keynote speakers and performances include Dr Mwenya Kabwe, Nondumiso Msimanga, James Ngcobo, and a keynote performance titled HOW: Showing the Making; Sibusiso Shozi. The programme also includes talks, workshops, installations, presentations, exhibitions and performances of Isidlamlulo by the Empatheatre; Khongolose Khommanding Khommissars by Standard Bank’s Young Artist Award Winners; the Theatre Duo; and Mbuso Ndlovu’s Echoes of Heritage.
Associate Professor René Smith, Head of the School of Arts, says: “The conference theme is a relevant and necessary provocation within global and local contexts where freedom of movement and other human rights, as well as democracy per se, are increasingly under threat. Mobility and journeying are universal and core to the human experience. ‘Embodied wandering practices’ invites us to imagine a world of inclusion and interconnectedness. We are especially pleased that the organising committee for this interdisciplinary conference includes creatives and emerging scholars from different disciplines in the Wits School of Arts.”