With the National Arts Festival extending a portion of its virtual programming until 31 July, IGAMA? by Slindile Mthembu joins the line-up. Slated to appear with the original offering, a number of technical difficulties saw the production delayed.
IGAMA? was developed from the award-winning playwright's MA research paper in which she explored using scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw's Theory of Intersectionality as a playwriting structure.
Crenshaw describes Intersectionality as "a metaphor for understanding the ways that multiple forms of inequality or disadvantage sometimes compound themselves, and they create obstacles that sometimes are not understood in conventional ways of thinking about anti-racism or feminism or whatever social justice advocacy structures we have... It's a prism for understanding certain kinds of problems. African American girls are six times more likely to be suspended than white girls. That's probably a race and a gender problem. It's not just a race problem. It's not just a gender problem."
An intersectional lens is used to disorient the viewer as we follow the intersecting lives of five black women, seeing both how they hold and tell their narratives, but also, their narratives as interpreted by the oppressor. This non-linear reading forces us to grapple with the interiority of black womanhood, refusing flat and derivative tellings.
Watch IGAMA? for R35.