Friday, June 21, 2019

Badimo and These Letters

Badimo and These Letters
By Azah Given Mphago and Manola K. Gayatri
Badimo and These Letters shapes a yearning of the living and the dead to find creative utterance in and through each other.
Callings sent and unsent, heeded and ignored,
riff through space, struggle, land, language and love.
Could Indian and South African experiences of teaching, creating and becoming reimagine the emergence of a decolonial aesthetic and pedagogy from the South?
Duration - 1 hour (40 min Performance, 20 min discussion)
Azah Given Mphago
Tinyiko Mpho Mphago wa Mabasa also professionally known as Azah is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, musical director cultural activist, educator and philanthropist from the South African Jazz capital Mamelodi in Pretoria.  
He is a brilliant, versatile and multitalented musician and is known as one of the finest South African
percussionists of our generation – and for good reason. Born into a family of traditional healers, he began playing drums at the age of 8 and formed a decidedly passionate bond with drums and percussion as not only healing instruments but also as a way of artistic and spiritual expression.
Azah pursued musical training at the Musical Theatre of the Tshwane University of Technology and this gave him the traveling future he had dreamed of, seeing him perform across Europe and South America with Gregory Magoma’s Vuyani Dance Theatre productions Ketima and Beautiful Us. He then joined Dr. Philip Tabane’s famous band Molombo – a moment he cites as one of the proudest of his life. He then formed Azah, the 8-piece band which continued to grow his musical diversity as a singer and composer by exploring and incorporating genres such as high life, soukous, jazz, Afro-soul, Afrobeat and indigenous folk sounds into a world music offering.
Manola K. Gayatri
Dr. Manola K. Gayatri is a praxis-oriented writer, researcher, performer and teacher.
She has immense faith in the creative arts as the most dynamic medium of helping us a society
become the most generous, healing and exciting version of ourselves, especially when allied with
innovative pedagogies in the Humanities and allied with progressive social and political movements.
She is currently Asst Prof at Centre for Development Practice, Ambedkar University Delhi and Postdoctoral fellow, at Witwatersrand School of Arts hosted by Drama For Life. She received her doctorate in Theatre and Performance Studies at School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University where she traced a feminist genealogy of womxn’s poetic utterance. She was a postdoctoral project partner in UGC-UKIERI project “Gendered Citizenship: manifestations and performance” (the University of Warwick and JNU) where she conceived seminars on “Negotiating Solidarities Through Difference” and contributed a chapter on “Witnessing and Embodied Empathy: Sexuate Agency and Autonomy in Kashmir Violence” co-written with Kashmiri academic and activist, Inshah Malik. 
She was a resource person for body empowerment in Panchayat leadership training programs with Aagaz Academy, Karnataka. 

She has taught at the Drama Dept University of Pretoria, School of Arts and Aesthetics JNU and co-founded The Institute of Leadership and Transformation, South Africa. She is co-current convenor of the Performance as Research Working Group, International Federation of Theatre Research.

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