Duane Lawrence (Dancer) | Monwabisi Sobitshi (Performer) | Mbuso Kgarebe (Dancer, Actor) | Khanyisile Mbongwa (Artist) | Skomline (Dancers)
We were drawn to this research initially through performance, viewing representations of contemporary South Africa through dance and poetry. We understood that performance was providing a vehicle for storytelling comparable to that of any other art form. In South Africa, much like Scotland, many people identify themselves as creative practitioners before any defined art form practitioner. The primary concern is to tell the story, and to not be bound by any one art form. We met Duane through his career as a BBoy, and came to understand his work as a musician and an activist. Mbuso describes himself as a dance activist, determined to change the perceptions of dance as a profession in South Africa. He has recently starred in highly-anticipated feature film titled, Hear Me Move (Scottnes Smith, South Africa, 2014) where he was given the opportunity to show sbjuwa as a real artistic dance form and a viable career choice for dancers. Khanyisile, whose interview is featured in our visual arts section, works with spoken word, installation and performance to re-imagine the psychological and physical spaces of the township, whilst actively participating in developing the arts infrastructure through her own collective, Gugulective, and as a board member of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA). Whilst Monwabisi demonstrates through his impromptu one man show at Guga S'Thehbe, depicting the emotional turmoil of the first day of democratic elections in South Africa, how theatre is an important creative tool in helping to heal past traumas and passing on the stories to a new generation.