#CTFringe: Songs for Khwezi, art that transforms

October 7, 2016

Songs For Khwezi, featuring the talented Refilwe Nkomo, is a chorepoem that interrogates power and the state as it relates to (sexual) violence against women. It is a powerful empowerment piece that reveals the fight and flight based fears confronted by women every day, and expresses that emotively through music, movement and the spoken word.

 

But it is actually reveals so much more. This production is not just an interrogation; it is also an indictment of victim shaming, showing that a community's response to a violation of body and soul can make or break even the strongest of women, as sometimes the wounds and scars we don't run the deepest.

 

Songs for Khwezi is the 'story' of a traumatised, ostracised girl (forcibly turned woman), and her search for (self)acceptance, liberation, and a sense of community solidarity and belonging. As a choreopoem, (a genre of theatre made popular in 1975 by Ntozake Shange, and which was strongly influenced by feminist arts movements) this production skillfully uses the complimentary artistic power of dance, music (song) and poetry to give dramatic expression to the reality that "sometimes just breathing is a revolutionary act".

 

As a choreopoem piece it doesn't contain the traditional plot elements, but still (maybe even more so) conveys a multi-layered message by evoking an emotive response from the audience. It is highly dramatic and very moving. Songs for Khwezi, as the voice of not just one woman but many, illustrates that anyone can be a freedom fighter, as it explores what it means to be a women in a democratic South Africa where one gender group is still more free than the other. 

 

The search for wholeness expressed in Songs for Khwezi is one you simply can't afford to miss at Cape Town Fringe. Go see the visionary Refilwe Nkomo on stage; book online at www.capetownfringe.co.za. And don't delay, Cape Town Fringe ends tomorrow, 8 October 2016.

 

 

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