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Drama Department

Identity, history and Mapungubwe

Posted on 22 November 2010

Prof Mariť-Heleen Coetzee presented a paper at an international conference at Goldsmiths University, London, on the transformations of narrative in the postcolonial era. The conference was from 11 to 13 November 2010.


The conference interrogates non-linear narrative as a central feature of postcolonial and diasporic artistic production, and offers a platform to look at the articulation of such narratives in relation to “the West’s grand narratives of progress” ( 

The central question of the conference centers on the modes of resistance or modifications that non-linear narratives offer.
In doing so, the conference necessarily explores the links between cross cultural and political change and artistic production.

With Mapungubwe as her main point of reference, prof Coetzee’s paper specifically focused on the Mapungubwe Stories (2008) project and addressed the following points, amongst others: the use of oral histories and mythologies to inform a theatrical production on identity; how cultural identity speaks to shared histories; and the power of naming.


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