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Eclipsed Evolution

Nobantu Shabangu


19:00 - 20:00


Performance Lecture

Eclipsed Evolution

Dramatherapy is the intentional use of creative drama towards psychotherapeutic goals. According to scholars of the discipline, dramatic performance is a viable healing route for survivors of rape. Official reports by the South African activist group POWA (People Opposed to Women and Child Abuse) describe post-traumatic stress disorder in cases of rape as rape trauma syndrome (RTS). Symptoms of RTS include but are not limited to shame, guilt, self-blame, emotional dysregulation, low self-esteem, self-isolation, disassociation, anxiety and depression.
The therapeutic process in dramatherapy is framed by nine core principles. The processes are distinct and integral such that they lead to healing through a revelatory performance- the final stage for dramatherapy clients. My performance-lecture will review the arts-based enquiry research I undertook. The research was motivated by first-hand experience of RTS and finding healing by reconnecting with my body with the help of dramatherapy. I used my cultural background of Zulu orature and spiritual knowledge of healing through song and dance, to inform the performance. This knowledge was contrasted with dramatherapy’s core principles which include dramatizing the body, embodiment and empathy to self and others.
I can perform live or play a video recording of the performance which will then be followed by a lecture. The lecture will explain the value of my research for embodiment practices. Additionally, I will detail the research process that led to the performance, the findings and motivate for diverse voices in the field of applied arts from an African perspective.

Nobantu Shabangu is a gender non-conforming South African writer, creative and performer. They started writing when they were nine years old. Their first writing accomplishment was winning a national essay competition on the cruelty of farm animals when they were eighteen.

During the years 2012-2014 they were part of the British Council Playwright’s Residency in conjunction with the Royal Court Theatre in London where their play Candyland was developed. In 2015 a reading of their play Candyland was held at the Market Theatre. In 2016 they were facilitator for The Zwakala Festival, a Market Theatre initiative to develop community theatre. They are the winner of wine company, Leopard’s Leap 2018 Message on a Bottle writing competition. Nobantu was named the African regional winner for the 2020 BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition. They have written for various online platforms and currently operate as a freelance writer for OkayAfrica.

A flexible academic and artist, they hold a bachelors degree in Communication Science and Public Administration as well as two postgraduate degrees in Applied Drama and Drama Therapy. They are currently studying a Masters of Drama Therapy at the University of Witwatersrand wherein the focus leads on from their honour’s degree research on healing from sexual trauma by reconnecting with the body through embodiment and other techniques from art therapy.

Their passions lie in community building, governance, entrepreneurship, self-actualisation, the healing arts, theatre and physical performance.

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