Interdisciplinary Papers & Projects

This library showcases interdisciplinary papers, research and projects. Please contact conference@act.org.za for more information about the authors.

Show Me The Money: How Theatre Can Profit from The Convergence of Sports and Entertainment

By: Neo Sibiya

Although both sport and theatre qualify as play cultural phenomenon, sport is perceived as more economically viable ad profitable. This paper explores how similar sport and theatre are in their modus operandi as well as how theatre can capitalise on these similarities to contribute positively to the creative industry. industry, so why not make the big dogs show us the money instead.?

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Gay Male Choreographers and the Performance of Masculinity On- and Offstage

By: Kwanele Thokozisa Goodenough Thusi

My paper examines the performance, aesthetic, form and style of performed masculinity of the South African male dancing body. I confront the prejudice against the queer male dancer within a Southern theatrical dance tradition, while revealing how homosexuality and effeminacy make strange bedfellows in the public-private, on- and offstage perception of male dancers/ choreographers. This interdisciplinary analysis combines dance studies, masculinity studies, queer theory, critical race theory, and choreographic analysis, to reveal the broad implications of race, gender, and sexuality for men, masculinity, and manhood in African society and culture. To do so, I examine the works of two South African dance choreographers; Gregory Maqoma’s work titled “Beautiful Me” (2011), alongside Peter John Sabbagga’s “Deep Nights” (2010).

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Destabilising the victim/perpetrator binary in Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind

By: Micia de Wet

This paper explores the existing victim/perpetrator binary in scholarship on Sam Shepard’s 1986 play text A Lie of the Mind with specific focus on the play’s two protagonists, Beth and Jake. It uses René Girard’s notions of the mimetics of desire, violence, victimisation, and scapegoating in order to motivate why a binary divide of victims/perpetrators of violence may be destabilised within a contemporary study of the text.

René Girard’s (1923-2015) influence lies in his ability to draw parallels between literature and religious texts, exploring how they influence the way people understand and connect to the world (Adams & Girard 1993:9). It is this influence of his that continues here. This paper takes his notions to draw parallels with dramatic texts, merging anthropological philosophy with dramatic literature in order to find new ways of engaging, connecting and understanding.

Key Concepts: mimetics of desire, violence, victimisation, scapegoating.

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Processes of Identification in Performing Artists: A Transpersonal Perspective

By: Martie Steyn

Acting involves complex psychological processes. Performing artists often connect with varying degrees to the characters they portray, and the relationship between actor and character can be transformative and lasting. The dynamics involved in processes of identification for performing artists have not been widely researched and documented, and begs further inquiry for both for the benefit of the actor as well as those who work with performing artists.

As the author was intrigued by processes of identification, these were mapped through a research project Existing ideas were compared with data collected from a group of performing artists, referencing existing literature from influential theatre figures such as Stanislavsky and Grotowski and psychological literature that examines identity aspects in performing artists. The data was analysed making use of Grounded Theory. First and second round interviews involved a group of students from a university who engaged with various questions to examine the underlying issues of identification. These experiences were mapped against the academic literature, and a third round of interviews was introduced, seeking to clarify concepts from the initial analysis.

It emerged there are distinct processes of identification that take place in performing artists, especially in instances where the actors were required to deliver emotional challenging characters or performances. These experiences can be recognised by their transformational and lasting effect on the actor. Such aspects of identification were observed primarily in four areas: identification of the actor with the character; identification of the actor with the audience; identification of the actor with the ensemble; and finally identification of the actor with the superconscious. These areas can also overlap or sometimes take place simultaneously. For the purpose of this study processes of identification were mapped and evaluated against how they impact the actor’s ability to deliver a compelling and authentic performance.

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The Absent and the Concrete: Effects of Merging Physical and Virtual Entities

By: Lauren Jean Fletcher

In the worlds of virtual reality, whole objects and bodies are created in an immaterial manner from lines, ratios and light pixels. When objects are created in this form they can be easily manipulated, edited, multiplied and deleted. In addition, technological advances in virtual reality development result in an increased merging of physical and virtual elements, creating spaces of mixed reality. This leads to interesting consequences where the physical environment and body, in a similar vein to the virtual, also become increasingly easier to manipulate, distort and change. Mixed realities thus enhance possibilities of a world of constantly changing landscapes and adjustable, interchangeable bodies. My research and practice navigates methods of mixed reality by splicing sculpture and digital arts, unfurling the seeming binaries of the “concrete and the absent”, through the creation of my exhibition Immaterial.

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Social Fabric SA

By: Winnie Sze

“Social Fabric SA” is a project bringing together artists, designers and South African textile manufacturers to collaboratively try to help re-build the embattled textile industry through the development of a design-led innovation pipeline. This paper provides a brief background on the textile industry, makes a case for design as a potential economic value driver, and explains the nature of the project and some of the results.

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Thinking Stone Live Performance Sessions – platform for multidisciplinary artistic expression

By: Tonderai Chiyindiko

The Thinking Stone Live Performance Sessions started in early 2014 under the name ‘Thinking Stone Spoken Word Sessions’. The event was started because there was no platform outside of the existing arts and culture residence-based programmes like Stagedoor, Kleinser and Kovsie Extravaganza for students who were not in residence nor who were not part of an association or organised grouping to meet and share through Spoken Word which is also referred to as Slam or Performance Poetry. There was thus a great need for an informal and recurring open platform which would primarily target day/off-campus students both as performers and audience members since most of the organised residence based activities would mostly take place during the evenings which created challenges for that particular group of students.

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Film education for multiculturalism

By: Paraskevi Karageorgu

The paper examines the ways film education can enhance the understanding of pupils of multicultural societies and cultural diversity. The rising of far right movements in Western Europe especially, due to globalisation, refugee waves and economic migration, creates a tense environment where cultural diversity is seen as a threat to security. There is an obvious lack of cultural awareness and genuine educational gap on the matter. This paper tackles this issue by proposing and developing the idea of multicultural education through cultural and creative industries. This research concentrates on the potential of film as a tool to enhance cultural diversity understanding. Through profound film theory, psychoanalysis and case study analysis the paper aims at demonstrating the potential of the industry. In addition, the research promotes the inclusion of more quality films (that have socio-political value) in Western’s school curriculum and it examines why such initiative would have a positive effect on pupils.

Keywords: multiculturalism; film education; literacy; cultural diversity; cultural identity; multicultural education; European cinema

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Caravanserai: The Urban Catwalk

By: Onthatile Makgalemela

This dissertation interrogates the programmatic, formal and spatial arrangement of a gender specified institution within a creolised culture1 in Africa. In many African countries, men often have greater liberty and freedom to determine how they carry themselves, particularly in the public realm. The degree to which women in these societies are deemed ‘free’ varies greatly.

I am using Zanzibar as my context on which to base my theory due to its creolised culture. This document is divided into sections which look at: 1) identity; 2) sexuality; 3) religion; and 4) power. During our field trip in Zanzibar (March 2015), I conducted a few personal exercises that helped me unpack the above mentioned sections, I titled them: Cat Calling; The Hair Diaries; and But First,Let Me Take A Selfie. I put myself as a subject, an object of desire within these exercises and recorded the responses through photography and narrative. My premise is that all spaces, public and private, reflect social dynamics around gender, identity and sexuality. I will explore how these dynamics play out in public spaces in Zanzibar and how men and women delineate public space.

créole, a hybrid in its form, programme, siting and materiality, responding to the dynamics of gender division, role-playing and veiling/unveiling that exists in Zanzibar’s public realm.

Keywords: Gender, Identity, Culture, Sexuality, Power, Authority, Invisible

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Market Development Using Community Shared Values: The Story of Burgerkill

By: Felencia Hutabarat and Iman Rahman Anggawiria Kusumah a.k.a. Kimung

The paper is a case study of Burgerkill band and the metal community and how their shared values and narratives influence the formation of their market and audience. Burgerkill absorbed foreign influences and local values in creating their music, resulting in a distinctive approach to metal music that inspires the audience in Indonesia. The paper also looks at how Burgerkill develops and implements their values in their business strategy, which includes building strong artistic identity, nurturing the audience and knowledge sharing with the local communities. The paper will discuss how the values contribute in developing and sustaining Burgerkill’s market.

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Applied Theatre in Organisation Development: A Strategic Narrative Embodiment TM model for designing social change interventions

By: Dr. Petro Janse van Vuuren

Increasingly organisations of all types are under pressure to take a greater interest in the communities they impact and the environment that support them. However, the people and planet centred values that organisations often profess seem to be in conflict with the profit focussed belief systems that their behaviour support. Currently many organisations rely on storytelling to navigate the maze of conflicting value systems and to change their belief systems to keep up with a changing world. This paper argues that applied theatre methodologies that combine narrative strategies with embodiment techniques are potentially more effective than storytelling alone in addressing the gap between aspirational values and lived values. The work of prominent applied theatre theorists and practitioners is used to illustrate how the combination of narrative and embodiment practices can assist organisations to integrate people and planet centred values with profit focussed beliefs by designing social change interventions that close the gap between what they say and what they do.

Keywords: applied theatre, organisation development, vision and values statements, social change, narrative strategies, embodiment

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Creative Social Actions as Innovative Tool: Ukrainian example

By: Dr. Olena Lazorenko

This position paper examines the “Creative Social Action“` concept of Ukrainian scholar, academic entrepreneur and civil society organization leader Dr.Olena Lazorenko. The paper pursues a multidisciplinary theoretical framework (derived from social philosophy, cultural studies, economy, management of art, sociology of culture, adult learning) to study creative social actions and its social outcomes. This study is aimed at furnishing a clear definition of creative social action term (category) that can be used by future research\practical activities from national and international perspective as well as identifying and measuring an individual’s participation in creative & learning activities undertaken to delivery this form action by different target groups and actors. Creative social action is interpreted here as access to Culture-Lifelong Learning-Networking with focus on the target group(s), the concept that combines theoretical and empirical parts.

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Future Lab Africa: Critical Engagements with African Culture and Technology

By: Jepchumba & Tegan Bristow

This short paper acts to contextualise and explain the development and purpose of the Future Lab Africa. A project developed by Digital Artists Jepchumba and Tegan Bristow. Future Lab Africa acts to feature conversations with Digital Artists and Creative Technologists working critically and creatively in the field of technology and digital art in Africa and its regions.

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Beyond the Creative Industries Sector- An Integrated Approach to Cultural Policy in search for the Economic Sustainability of Creative Industries in South Africa

By: Munyaradzi Chatikobo

Governments of all persuasions, in all jurisdictions have experienced difficulty in formulating coherent and appropriate policy strategies for the arts and cultural sector(Craik, 2007, p. 25).

 The South African government is not an exception to this quandary.  The Department of Arts and Culture’s White Paper on Arts Culture and Heritage can be described as insular as it partially embrace and recognize other national socio-economic development strategies and programmes. The outcome of the current cultural policy is heavy dependency on government subsidies and grants from international agencies.  Despite the multi-layered challenges in cultural policy and creative industries, stakeholders do acknowledge the inherent sustainability potential which is yet to be unlocked. The aim of this paper is to name and explain some of the challenges of the South African Cultural Policy which could be impeding economic sustainability of the creative industries. The broader goal of the paper is to contribute to arguments for alternative cultural policy models for the sustainability of creative industries in South Africa. The paper suggests an integrated and interdisciplinary cultural policy approach.

 Key Words: Creative Industries, Interdisciplinary, Economic Sustainability, Cultural Policy, South Africa

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