Choreographing violence and intimacies

Choreographing violence and intimacies: exploring choreography and screendance as artistic mediums for choreographing intimacies through a performance lecture titled ‘In the shadow of his fist’

Kamogelo Molobye

University of the Witwatersrand 


South Africa has seen a rapid rise in gender-based violent killings of women and queer people, which can be argued to be growing much in the same trend as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country. In March 2020, South Africa went into hard lockdown following the first few reported cases of the Corona Covid-19 virus. During this time, the country saw a consistent spike in gender- based violence and femicide cases possibly exacerbated by vulnerable groups of people – women, children and queer people – being confined in spaces with their abusers. ‘In the shadow of his fist’ is a performance lecture that considers the hybrid approach of performance and academic presentation to explore violence in South Africa – overt and nuanced – through an application of embodied practices and screendance. The performance paper asks: how can screendance provide an opportunity to engage with moments of violence through choreographed encounters of intimacies and choreographing empathy? As such, the title of the performance lecture roots itself in seeking space of and for escape and solace during moments of violence. It is a prayer that seeks out guidance and hope during moments of hardship and struggle. Key to the exploration that the performance lecture attempts to take, is the interrogation of the processes of re-membering, re-collecting, and recovery that many South Africans, particularly those that have been at the receiving end of gender-based violence can engage in order to connect their experience(s) with perception(s) and feeling(s) that can be accomplished through ‘affect’ in screendance.

Biography: Kamogelo Molobye

Kamogelo Molobye is a PhD candidate and a lecturer at Wits University, Theatre and Performance Department, specializing in Movement Studies, Physical Theatre and Choreographic Practices. His areas of interest are in feminist theory, gender and queer studies, Blackness, decolonial teaching and learning pedagogies, and languages.  Kamogelo has published and presented papers at various conferences in South Africa and internationally, including UCT, UJ Wits, and Duke University. In addition, he is a choreographer and performer who has created works for showcasing during the 2016 National Arts Festival, 2018 Live Arts Festival, 2018 Staatstheatre Festival, 2019 State Theatre 16 Days of Activism Festival, and the Goethe Institut Museum Conversations 2019.