My Body My Space returns to public spaces

For several years, My Body My Space (MBMS), an innovative public art festival organized by the Forgotten Angle Theater Collaborative (FATC), has been taking place in public spaces in Emakhazeni Local Municipality (ELM) in rural Mpumalanga .

Featured Image: Performers of MBMS 2018

The MBMS festival aims to contribute to the process of social cohesion in a territory that still clearly lacks socio-political and socio-economic integration. It attempts to bring together the diverse rural citizens of Emakhazeni by piercing through and disrupting the familiar ways in which people traverse shared social spaces.

In 2021, MBMS had to switch to an online event – a world first, MBMS was delivered entirely via a dedicated WhatsApp line.

MBMS22 is returning to a physical, in-person form with the tagline: “A Meet and Greet Festival.” Calling: “Dumelang”, “Sanibonani”, “Hello”, “Lotjhani, Le Kae?”, “How are you? / Where are you?”, this year’s festival weaves together the two themes of human rights. man and climate, cornerstones of FATC’s philosophy and values ​​as a company.

Funded by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Mzansi Golden Economy (DSAC), the National Arts Council (NAC) and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), MBMS22 will focus almost entirely on the Emakhazeni creative arts community where local artists will be at the center of decision-making processes and opportunities for collaborations between national and international partners may arise.

Featured Image: Performers of MBMS 2018

Featured Image: Performers of MBMS 2018

In line with the idea of ​​”Meetings and Greetings”, the festival will consist of a series of small creative encounters over a longer period. The main function is to do more things together locally.

The thematic axis of #MBMS22, “Where art and climate meet”, invites to explore how climate and arts-based practice meet in a creative dialogue that takes, at its base, the experience of human rights and the relationship with the subject.

Tshego Kutsoane, FATC Development Manager, says, “Ensuring access and inclusion through the provision of high-quality artistic offerings is how FATC meets the demands of our context. In these still rather strange times, we are choosing to respond to widespread desires to gather in person and to do so with caution. We open our doors to guests and venture to hit those of our neighbors in the local, national and other performance communities we also call home.

“Visiting, hosting, walking the streets of Emakhazeni together again and catching up. To be in each other’s safe and intimate company again to wonder how are you/us? Where are you/us now? Coming together in recognition of what has changed and more deliberately shaping How we move together now in new forms of our relationships, our communities and our creative expression,” continues Kutsoane.

What to expect

Beginning March 13 with a gathering on the deck of FATC’s Ebhudlweni Art Center, Soraya Thomas from Reunion will lead an outdoor workshop. From March 14 to 17, Thomas will collaborate with FATC and Cie ex Nihilo in the form of a residency culminating with a showcase on March 18 and 19. This is the start of a new multi-year project called crossroads.

From March 13 to April 22, the MBMS Festival organizes moments of creative residency, where changes in our climate can be contemplated, new ideas can be explored, and creative disciplines are stretched out in gentle collaboration. Each meeting will culminate in a moment of sharing that will arise in various spaces of the local commune of Emakhazeni. The festival’s moving showcases will appear in former playgrounds, new venues and will be offered as one of the tourist attractions that Dullstroom is left to book.

Provided Image: MBMS 2017 Performance

Provided Image: MBMS 2017 Performance

Other partners include Drama for Life (DFL); Mhayise Productions by Musa Hlatshwayo of KZN working with FATC from March 21-27; Moving into Dance (MID) and Vuyani Dance Theater (VDT), both of Joburg, are collaborating on a dance week from April 4-10 with Cape Town’s Unmute Dance Company and FATC.

There will also be a two-week experience where a total of 20 local community practitioners – 10 performance-based and 10 visual arts or craft-based will be invited to collaborate across disciplines. Visitors will be invited to witness the creation process.

The festival will conclude with a week of new work by FATC interns and trainees from April 11-14.