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Title: Re-tracing invisible maps : landscape in and as performance in contemporary South Africa
Author: Moyo, Awelani L.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis suggests an approach to landscapes both in and as performance, in order to explore how identity and belonging are sited and performed in contemporary South Africa. I deploy an inter-disciplinary concept of landscape, drawing from the work of Tim Ingold (2000), who defines landscape as 'a plenum' and argues that we engage with landscapes through a performative process of 'way-finding.' With this in mind, I position myself as a participant-observer in this thesis, and through a process of way-finding aim to 're-trace invisible maps' of identity in a selection of examples ranging from the theatrical to the everyday. Throughout my discussion I analyse how specific performances reflect/resist certain histories and social constructions of belonging. The thesis is divided into three thematic sections which explore how various cultural practices, or forms of 'mapping', attempt to make the world 'knowable', at the same time indicating what escapes or exceeds the limits of their own codes of representation. The first section entitled Fortress City investigates identity formation as a spatially situated process in Cape Town, using the example of the public arts festival Infecting the City and focusing on the period 2009-2011 when it was curated by Brett Bailey. In the second section Frontier Nations, I discuss the temporality of landscape by juxtaposing how collective/national memory and subjective/personal memory both emerge in and through performance. I compare two speeches made by Presidents Mandela and Zuma in Grahamstown in 1996 and 2011 respectively, and contrast the political rhetoric on nationhood with Brett Bailey’s use of mythic time in an experiential site-specific performance Terminal (2009). In the last section Corporeal Networks, I argue that the body acts as primary generator of meaning, identification and belonging. I discuss Juanita Finestone-Praeg’s Inner Piece (2009) a physical theatre work which tackles issues of violence and representation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Leverhulme Trust (LT)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater