DFL Africa research conference

The 9th Annual Drama for Life Africa Research Conference Presents A Conference Workshop organised by the Drama for Life Students

Decolonising Arts Education

Constitution Hill, 24th and 25th November 2016, 9 am to 6 pm

Keywords: Multiplicity, Inclusivity, Freedom, Equality, Dignity and Education

The Drama for Life Africa Research Conference has become the annual space for applied arts, arts therapies and performance arts practitioners, academics, and managers to critically engage in theory and practice about cross-cutting contemporary issues. 

This year the conference addresses the decolonisation of arts education with reference to the implications of the Fallist Movement. In the spirit of the original intentions of the Fallist Movement, the 9th Drama for Life Africa Research Conference is convened and presented by Drama for Life students with the support of staff. This conference aims to foreground various questions related to the theme Decolonising Arts Education and to offer a space where the possibilities of our future may be explored and debated. 

The conference seeks to investigate what it is that we – students, staff and practitioners – can contribute to the realisation of a democratic education that respects and embraces the praxis of freedom, equality, dignity, inclusivity and multiplicity. We cannot expect change if we do not allow our youth to lead, but our youth cannot lead without significant guidance and support from the broader community. To build our future we need to explore what must rise together, democratically.

The questioning and challenging of existing and problematic systems has long been part of the conversation of the postmodern era as has the demand for recognition of diverse and varied voices of many feminist, queer and intersectional scholars globally. However, the call to act upon these conversations and more so, to make the ideal a lived reality is greater now than ever before, particularly amongst a generation who demand it. With current and pertinent conversations around a decolonised approach to arts education coming to the fore at a critical point in South Africa, and the world at large,  it is important to consider and pursue a plausible and effective future for those who intend to live in it, and for those who will come after us.

Drama for Life is committed to the social transformation and healing project of South Africa and the African continent. It is committed to a democracy for all, to engagement and teaching for all.  We believe that a conversation around decolonisation of arts education cannot happen in the absence of multiplicity and inclusivity: a holistic exploration of our diverse selves, our contexts, our histories and that which lies beyond them. But what does that future look like? What do the words multiple and inclusive mean for us now? And more so, what do they mean for our future?

Key Critical Questions to frame conference conversations:

  • What does decolonisation mean in a contemporary Africa?
  • What is the role of Arts Education in Higher Education?
  • Who or what needs to be decolonised in Arts Education?
  • What does a decolonised approach to Arts Education look like?
  • What are the colonial barriers that constrain multiplicity and inclusivity in Arts Education?
  • How can we develop a multiple and inclusive approach to Arts Education?
  • What do we mean by an Arts Pedagogy of freedom, equality and dignity?
  • In what ways can the pedagogy of Arts Education be the practice of democracy?
  • What is the function of the Arts Educator? What are the responsibilities of the Arts Educator?
  • What lessons has Drama for Life learned since 2008 to share with colleagues from across South Africa and beyond? What lessons still need to be learned?

This year’s Conference Workshop will include panel presentations, round table dialogues, films, workshops, performances and working groups. The conference is supported by the Goethe Institut, British Council, BASA and the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tawana Kupe and the Development and Leadership Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Come and register at the Conference Workshop, Constitution Hill, 24th November from 8 am.

Conference Fee: R300 for 2 days/ R150 for 1 day (Paid cash on arrival) Student Fee: #FeesHaveFallen

For more information please contact Conference Workshop organisers  Jacqlyne Titus and Kelly Eksteen on +27 (0)11 717 4734.