ACTivism

 

Our ACTivism fieldwork collection explores how performance can create and sustain social change. These fieldwork interviews discuss performance as praxis with a range of people working at the intersection of art and activism. Dr Carla Lever's research into the everyday drama of political dissent, and are designed to complement the formal theatrical research of the ReTAGS project. Underlying these discussions is the question of how tragedy as a mode can help us understand a wider definition of performative responses to neocolonial establishments and forces.

  • ACTivism interview | Haroon Gunn-Salie

    Interview with artist and activist Haroon Gunn-Salie focusing on the role, responsibilities of and repercussions for the artist/activist in society. The interview speaks particularly to the artist's 2013 work "Zonnebloem Renamed" as a site-specific form of occupation activism, and forms part of Dr Carla Lever's research into repertoires of shock in South African performance and politics. Informal Zoom meeting on 2021-12-17. Please be advised this interview contains the use of strong language.
  • ACTivism interview | Mandisa Dyantyi

    Interview with Mandisa Dyantyi, the Director of the Social Justice Coalition NGO based on Khayelitsha, Cape Town. This interview focusses on perceptions of violence in protest, the difficulty of organising and enacting effective dissent, and the role of the SJC as community intermediary between formal and informal political engagements. Informal Zoom meeting on 2021-07-30.
  • ACTivism interview | Kim Kerfoot

    Interview with theatre director Kim Kerfoot, focusing on the negotiation of nude scenes in two iterations of his production of Athol Fugard's "Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act" - one at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective independent venue (2 - 5 November 2011), and one at the Fugard Theatre (24 February - 18 February 2012). The interview, which explores contemporary morality and reactions to a classic piece of Apartheid-era protest theatre, forms part of Dr Carla Lever's research into repertoires of shock in South African performance and politics. Informal Zoom meeting on 2021-07-23.
  • ACTivism interview | Greg Karvellas

    "Interview with ex-Fugard Artistic Director Greg Karvellas, focussing on the negotiation of nude scenes in his production of Athol Fugard's ""Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act"" at the Fugard Theatre (17 September - 26 October 2019) and the KKNK festival (21 - 26 March 2019). The interview, which explores contemporary morality and reactions to a classic piece of Apartheid-era protest theatre, forms part of Dr Carla Lever's research into repertoires of shock in South African performance and politics. Informal Zoom meeting on 2021-06-30.
  • ACTivism interview | Sibongile Mngoma

    nterview with Opera Singer and arts activist Sibongile Mngoma. This interview focusses on her March/April 2021 protest occupation of the NAC offices in Johannesburg, and reflects on the value of liveness in protest, as well as the skillsets that trained performers can bring to political dissent. It forms part of Dr Carla Lever's research into repertoires of shock in South African performance and politics. Informal Zoom meeting on 2021-07-26.
  • ACTivism interview | Kelly-Eve Koopman and Sarah Summers

    Interview with activist storytellers Sarah Summers and Kelly-Eve Koopman, as part of Dr Carla Lever's research into repertoires of shock in South African performance and politics. This interview asks Summers and Koopman to reflect on their 2020 experience occupying a Camps Bay mansion as part of the 'We See You' radical queer collective. The discussion considers the power of creative praxis within political intervention strategies. Informal Zoom meeting on 2021-12-14.
  • ACTivism interview | Gavin Krastin

    Interview with performance artist Gavin Krastin, as part of Dr Carla Lever's research into repertoires of shock in South African performance and politics. This interview specifically focusses on the use of nudity as a means of radical engagement, and explores notions of performance both on stage and in everyday life. Informal Zoom meeting on 2022-02-03, edited in line with interviewee's redactions.
  • ACTivism interview | Owen Lonzar

    Interview with Owen Lonzar, a freelance Director and Choreographer who facilitated performance interventions at the 2021 NAC artist's sit-in. Discussion centres around the importance of liveness in protest, the role of artists in holding a State accountable, and the repertoires of resistance particular to trained performers. Informal Zoom meeting on 2021-07-21.
  • ACTivism interview | Neil Coppen

    Interview with Empatheatre co-founder and theatre Director Neil Coppen. The interview focusses on Empatheatre's 2019 performance 'Boxes,' which engaged themes of spatial justice and gentrification in the City of Cape Town. This interview forms part of Dr Carla Lever's research into occupation as a form of protest, and engages with the notion of activism as performance, and performance as activism. Informal Zoom meeting on 2021-11-19.