Drama for life Outreach Foundation performing at Wits

Book your seat now – this is taking place on
4 December 2018 at 13h30

This Drama for Life International Conference & Festival seeks to map developments and innovations in applied arts, arts therapies, arts education, performance ethnography and performance as research undertaken by Drama for Life and global partners in the past 10 years. The conference and festival will have a broad focus on local, regional and global 21st Century concerns, including:

  • Trauma, social justice and restitution through the Arts;
  • Building a human rights culture through Arts Activism;
  • Climate change, environmental and the role of the Applied Arts;
  • Popular culture, nationalism and the rise of fascism and violence amongst youth;
  • Sexual health and wellbeing through Arts Education;
  • Arts therapies, mental health and wellness;
  • Arts, migration and the refugee crisis;
  • Arts therapies and healing practices in conflict and post-conflict contexts;
  • Arts, public space and site performance;
  • Arts, culture and evolutionary leadership;
  • Children, youth and theatre.

Tickets for the 10th Drama for Life International Conference & Festival will be available soon. Please see social media for updates.

Viewed through the thematic lens: “Transforming Arts | Transforming Lives”the Drama for Life International Conference and Festival within our current critical context asks, what does it mean to be human in the 21st century? How can we learn to be resilient, without compromising our humanity, as we engage with the enormous challenges of change in the 21st century? And, in so doing, how can we effectively use the arts, without compromising its aesthetic power, to bring about meaningful, sustainable transformation and healing?

In what ways can the arts contribute to the transformation of our communities, society and global condition; from a consciousness of despair to one of hope; from in-action to action; from binary to fluidity; from oppressions that are intersectional to liberation? How can the arts transform children and youth to live lives that humanise; respecting life, community and earth; difference, diversity and fluidity?

What have we learned from a decade of arts praxis? How do we imagine a future of a transformed arts landscape? What road map, if any, does arts-based research in applied arts and arts therapies tell us about the direction we need to take?

The 10th Drama for Life Conference & Festival will present cutting-edge research, performances, installations, dialogues, trainings and workshops that will enhance the knowledge-base and experience of artists, community artists, arts healers and arts therapists, arts and cultural leaders and managers, arts educators, arts academics and arts researchers, and arts activists.

For more information, please email Caryn Green or Zanele Bhengu at info.dfl@wits.ac.za.

In my Mother’s Womb

In My Mother’s Womb, the latest devised work directed by the skilful Gcebile Dlamini, choreographed by Sibusiso Hadebe with Paul Noko as the dramaturge is an evocative story of resilience, spirituality and hope. The play offers an intimate look into what it is like to live with blindness. Drawing from personal stories of the inter-generational cast of youngsters and the elderly, Dlamini challenges the audience to suspend the privilege of sight and use other senses to experience how the blind perceive the world.

In My Mother’s Womb is centred on the protagonist Siphokazi, who was born blind after her mother was bewitched by her family. Determined for Siphokazi to survive, her parents sent her to a special school for the blind where she learns how to survive with her condition. This artistic work explores the nuanced and complex relationship between Christianity and traditional healing and asks if these beliefs can work together.

To awaken one’s spirituality, Dlamini says we all need to crawl back to our mother’s womb and acknowledge our complex existence. She experiments with the womb as the metaphor of darkness and asks the following questions: does one live with generational curses? Does the spirit world exist? Can hope keep one alive? Can tragedy turn into a blessing?

Dlamini says “we learn the true meaning of dreams and hope through the blind. They can touch what we cannot. After every rehearsal of this work I ask myself, what kind of world could we inhabit if we all took the time to understand the world’s forgotten senses.” Through the exploration of blindness, this play is an example of the endless possibilities of how one can express oneself differently in the absence of sight.

In My Mother’s Womb is an innovative performance that will incite engagement and conversation around reimagining blindness in our communities. The production will premiere at the 2018 National Arts Festival and it is made possible by the generous support from the Outreach Foundation Hillbrow Theatre Project in collaboration with Tswelepele Frail Care Centre and Society for the Blind.