8th Drama for Life Africa Research Conference , Mozambique 2015

The Drama for Life (DFL) Africa Research Conference constitutes one of the foremost platforms for applied drama, drama therapy, arts education, performance studies, performance ethnography, research and practice on the African continent. It aims to create an inter-continental and international dialogue about the significant role drama, theatre and performance can play in human rights and social justice. For the past seven years Drama for Life has hosted and organised the international Africa Research Conference in conjunction with varied partners, developing networks and partnerships between artists, development facilitators, therapists, educators and academics working within applied drama, drama therapy, arts education, performance studies and performance ethnography.

Call for Papers, Workshops and Performances

Re/Location:Dis/Location : Migration, Culture and Public Health

In 2015 the conference delivers a ground-breaking partnership between the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique, facilitating a critical dialogue across national boundaries. One of the conference’s aims is to be inclusive of all current African and global trends within the arts communities, and it is with this in mind that the 2015 conference will make particular reference to issues of migration, both on the continent and internationally. Looking at the intersections between migration, culture, and public health through the lenses of applied drama, drama therapy, arts education, and performance, the 2015 conference aims to interrogate what some argue to be the global problem of the 21st Century: the politics and performance of migration and movement. Migration contains a vast number of ethical, human rights, public health, and psychological issues, and it is the intention of the conference to open the dialogue between practitioners, artists, policy makers and academics in order to question and debate the role that drama and the applied arts has when dealing with arguably some of the most vulnerable people worldwide.

As part of the European Union ACP supported project “Strengthening of Mozambican Cultural Industries through capacity-building and enhancement of Legal Framework”, the Mozambican Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) will also run a series of capacity building workshops before and during the Conference. These workshops will be targeted at creative and cultural practitioners, government and policy makers. The capacity development workshops will add to a broader integrated and holistic approach to development, adding a management component to the thematic focus of the conference. The workshops will focus specifically on: Asset based community development, audience development, monitoring and evaluation, lobbying and advocacy, project management, financial management and policies of grant making.

The 8th Drama for Life Africa Research Conference is crossing national, language and cultural borders, and asking our practitioners, artists, therapists, academics, and policymakers if we all can do the same.

This year’s conference is made possible by the generous support of our partners at the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, The ICMA/Goethe Zentrum Maputo, Eduardo Mondlane University, BASA, The Wits School of Arts, and The University of the Witwatersrand.

The 2015 Conference will take place on November 26-28 in Maputo, Mozambique.
Proposals for papers, workshops, and performances are invited around the following specific themes:

  • Leaving, returning and the idea of ‘home’
  • The politics and performance of migration
  • Forced migration within war and post-war contexts
  • The psychology of ‘belonging’
  • Migration, culture and human rights and social justice
  • Ethical issues around migration
  • Sex, HIV/AIDS, sexuality, public health and migration
  • Indigenous cultural systems’ roles in migration and wellbeing
  • The role of developmental organisations and artists in relation to migrant health and wellbeing
  • The role of applied drama and theatre project management and leadership in fostering appropriate responses to migration
  • The role of drama therapy in mediating the trauma of migration
  • Theatre-making and performance as an act of migration

Submission of proposals for papers, workshops and performances should be sent to Monique Hill at moniquehilldrama@gmail.com

Proposals can be made directly using one of the following criteria:

  • 2 page maximum abstract
  • Name/s
  • Institution/organisation/production representing
  • Clear description of proposed paper, workshop , exhibition or performance
  • Clear description of needs in terms of time, technology, of proposed paper presentation, workshop, exhibition or performance
  • Biography/ies of the presenter/s
  • Contact details, including email address, phone number, and Facebook (if applicable)


You can access a proposal form on the Drama for Life website www.dramaforlife.co.za

Deadline for proposals: 10 October
Proposal outcomes will be received by 24 October.

Further details regarding registration will be posted shortly on www.dramaforlife.co.za
For enquiries please contact the South African coordinator Monique Hill at moniquehilldrama@gmail.com.

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