Disability not a barrier to Talking Souls visual artists

Pharie Sefali
Painting by Rachel Gadsden.
Pharie Sefali

Free tickets to watch an intriguing international collaborative production.

As part of their programme for Women’s Month, Artscape and the British Council are staging a production called Talking Souls, directed by Mandla Mbothwe.

According to the press release, Talking Souls explores the fragility of human life. An interdisciplinary performance piece, it uses ritual to restore hope.

The collaborators include international performers. Hailing from London are Dom Coyote, a musician and theatre-maker, and Rachel Gadsden, a visual artist, who is half blind and has a pipe in her body which controls her breathing. According to Rachel, if the pipe stops functioning for even a few minutes, she could die.

Local artists include contemporary dance performer Andile Vellen, who he is deaf, alongside members of the Steve Biko Centre: Ncebakazi Yeko, Sanga Mabulu and Nceba Gonxeka, indigenous instrumentalist.

Mbothwe explains that, “The production describes the fragility of being a woman … a person who demonstrates fragility of life through giving birth. The production will artistically show the power that women hold in their hands.”

Talking Souls also interrogates the notion of the “disabled body”, presenting the disabled person to a society that often stigmatises them. The artists hope to show what the so-called “disabled body” is capable of doing.

Gadsden says, “We are trying to show that disability shouldn’t hold you back, and to also show audiences that they shouldn’t judge disabled people”.

Yeko says the production made her believe that there are such things as spirits. Being part of the production has made her understand the true meaning of Ubuntu, and shown her that we are all equal. There is a spirit out there, she believes, that is holding humanity together.

RSVP for tickets on: harriet.duplessis [at] britishcouncil.org.za

Office number: 021 460 6673

Dates: 09th August 2013 (19h:30), 10th August 2013 (15h:00)

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TOPICS:  Society

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