The Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and its JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience calls for abstracts, papers and digital participation in its 2nd JOMBA! MASIHAMBISANE DIALOGUES from the 25 – 27 May 2022.

Historians like Anderson and Hart (2016) have argued that archives cannot be neutral: they are sites of contestation and power. They state,

“What is selected for archiving, how it is presented and who is allowed to see it, are all ways in which power relations are maintained” (2016: 25).

These theories around the idea of archives are closely bound up with notions of context, politicisation, legitimacy and inequality – who has access to the artefacts, whose voice is the loudest or strongest, whose histories and memories are chosen to represent or stand as a symbol of a movement or moment in time? At the JOMBA! 2022 MASIHAMBISANE DIALOGUES we aim to understand and challenge how embodied knowledge is generated, owned, valued and distributed. We also aim to honour non-traditional forms of knowledge productions that include (amongst an evolving agenda), performance and various  oral/embodied dance traditions that are specific to South Africa; critical attention to the body as archive, activisms; all in lieu of the traditional conference presentation.

The JOMBA! MASIHAMBISANE DIALOGUES are interested in opening space for Southern-based case studies and embodied discussion (in practice and theory) of hegemonic binaries can be/ should be broken down in ‘dancing archives’.



was offered free and on-line! 


Vincent Mantsoe and Jabu Siphika – Photo by Val Adamson

Sifiso Khumalo and Nadine McKenzie – Photo by Val Adamson

Keynote Panel Videos:


Additional Videos

“Dancing Nomadic Truth | Nomadische Wahrheiten Tanzen Revisiting my own choreographic archive (SWAN | 2017/2018) looking at the relationship of text, movement and meaning”. 

By Hannah Ma


Paper 1: Kristina Johnstone: “Mapping artistic research as part of a decolonial choreographic praxis: The creation of an online cartography”

Paper 2: Gerard M Samuel & Ebrahim Medell: Death and the Merrim

Paper 3: Robyn Denny & Mamela Nyamza (collaborating artists): “an arch(iv)ing praxis: Hatched 2015 || 2007-2018/2015-2022”

The colloquium was funded with a grant from the National Institute for Humanities & Social Sciences (NIHSS).

  The choreographed politics of intimacies”


With COVID and the digital move to offer dance (and dance festivals) via on-line platforms and digital spaces, one of the results has been an upsurge of deeply intimate dance and screen dance work. This colloquium took as provocation the (revised) words of Mexican poet and scholar Luis Vicente de Aguinaga that “even though every kind of politics needs a public square to exist, the politics of [dance] takes place in an intimate square”. The seeming collapse of public and private, and the mostly private homebound consumption of dance in digital spaces, provided an interesting and significant terrain to interrogate (amongst other factors like race and gender), Africa’s digital divides and what it means for African dance makers to engage the ‘politics of intimacy’ within digital dance spaces. The colloquium thus sought to engage the ‘intimacies’ of new ways of imaging/consuming/producing the creation of dance work for digital spaces that also – ironically and concurrently – have global reach. This is also set against the rise of gender -based violence during national COVID lock downs, and the ongoing understanding that private spaces (the intimacies of ‘home’) consistently remain a battle ground for many women (and women artists).


The colloquium set out to explore/interrogate:

a.          how political, economic, social, cultural and technological forces are (re)shaping the meanings of intimacy in dance making in Africa (and the African Diaspora) in the recent wake of COVID-19.


b.         past and present African/African Diaspora histories of live dance work that has set up shifted boundaries around ‘intimacy’ whether this has been through re-imagined performance spaces, audience engagements, choreographic process and delivery, and the actual narratives of the performance.



Dr. Lliane Loots

Artistic Director and Curator:

JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience