‘I feel it in my heart’, she says. ‘I feel it in my heart center definitely. There’s a lightness about it. There’s a very light, floaty-ness about it.’ With her eyes gently closed as she remembers the feeling of her last live performance in December 2020, Thandi Ntuli draws me into a moment I hadn’t actually experienced.
The 2020 World Press Photo contest winning image, by Yasuyoshi Chiba, does not instantly take one’s breath away. It reminds you of the deliciousness of breathing, in a year where breathing was made difficult in so many ways. It fills you with heartfelt hope for the future, in these dark times.
There is something softly solemn to Lorin Sookool’s musing on South African coloured identity and the sense of living with an instinct to defend oneself in a world that confines you. Like living in prison, it can be a life unfulfilled. Sookool’s film The Blunt Blades of Bravado contemplates this confinement of personhood that turns people of colour into stereotypes of violence, and at the same time, the film breathes into the wound of living in constant fear.
For Maqoma, whose production is inspired by a character from Zakes Mda’s novels Ways of Dying and Cion, Mda’s meeting of mourning with slave-memory is a political journey. One that Maqoma artfully combines with Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, creating an entirely new work. Mda’s character Toloki is a professional mourner who travels to the U.S. in search of other ways of mourning.
Mwenya Kabwe, who directs the piece, slides between calling the writing a play or poetry. The poetry, means, as Kabwe says, ‘There was no way to stage it traditionally. There is also so much going on that’s not spoken. There’s so much that’s not written’.
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