News & events


“Dramatic reconstruction”: Fallists using theatre to catalyse social change

Date: 15 June 2017 | Time:  12h30 – 13h30 | Venues: Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town 

Since #Rhodes Must Fall challenged the post-apartheid narrative of rainbowism and reconciliation, student activists have garnered radically bifurcated sets of opinions. Negative attitudes have partly been informed by sensationalistic media images of burning artworks, patriarchal student leaders and self-serving individuals clamouring for free degrees. Less well-publicised are the creative contributions that student activists have offered through their artworks, drama and literature.

Speakers: Ameera Conrad, Tankiso Mamabolo, Cleo Raatus and Kiroshan Naidoo (actors/actresses and former members of Rhodes Must Fall/UCT students)

Discussants: Ragi Bashonga (HSRC) and Abraham Serote (Department of Arts and Culture)

Chair: Adam Cooper

This seminar focuses on the work of drama students who were founding members of Rhodes Must Fall and formerly students of the University of Cape Town. Snippets from two theatre pieces will be read and discussed. These include The Fall, an acclaimed production that was regularly sold out at the Baxter Theatre, Klein Karoo Kunste Fees and the Grahamstown Festival and the controversial play Reparations, directed by Ameera Conrad, who is also a member of The Fall cast. Reparations, a political satire, is drenched in the humorous paradoxes of digital youth activism, social media revolutionary actions and the ever-looming threat of public racialized violence.

The premise of the play is that a post-fallist state has decided that one White South African should be selected for public execution, in order to atone for atrocities committed during apartheid and colonialism. The young actors, directors and playwrights will be engaged in conversation with South African drama scholars, including Dr Alude Mahali (HSRC) and Dr Chupe Serote (Department of Arts and Culture), to discuss the production process, the meaning of the plays and the contribution that art can make in attempts to catalyze change and attain social justice.

Kindly RSVP by 14 June 2017

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein  as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Cape Town : HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street Cape Town, Cape Town. Contact: Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban :  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail