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Press Release
Human Rights and Social Justice Season is back at Wits Theatre
Issued by: Wits University  
[Johannesburg, 13 March 2013]

The Drama For Life (DFL) Human Rights and Social Justice Season is back at the Wits Theatre. This year’s theme is to create awareness around a topic that is often ignored in South African society: the human rights of people living with disabilities. The season aims to provide a platform for both disabled artists as well as artists interested in using art mediums to provoke dialogue around disability access and equality on campus.

The season is curated by Drama for Life alumnus and facilitator Cherae Halley. “This season is not only for those who are disabled themselves; this season is for the entire Wits community so as to open ourselves up to these issues pertaining to our human rights and disability. Too often we focus on the poor attention paid to our own rights, but this season is a time for us to shift focus towards the poor attention paid to the rights of any disabled person. It is an experiential season, a reflective season as well as a thought-provoking season,” says Halley.

The season will run over six days (14-20 March 2013) prior to Human Rights day. The season will contain two theatre shows, a site specific installation, panel discussions, and workshops all leading up to the question: “What are you doing for Human Rights day in the sector of disability?”

Guests of the DFL Human Rights and Social Justice Season can look forward to the production: "See It, Sign It, Know It, Share It", which is a series of short stories performed by deaf peer educators, highlighting the issues of language as a barrier for accessing health services, alongside the screening of eight digital stories concerning deaf accessibility to HIV/Aids education. The piece is directed by Halley.

"The Ways" is a documentary drama looking at daily experiences of disabled people. The play reminds us to be conscious and sensitive, as it shares the experiences of how we interact and contribute to each other’s lives.

"Am I Really...?" explores the internal voices of a group of Wits students living with different disabilities through the use of movement. This physical theatre piece challenges the concept of being so-called “disabled” while highlighting the silent disabilities existing in all of us. This production is created by Mammatli Thakuli-Nzuza and choreographed by Sthe Khali.

Besides the three main performances, guests also have the chance to take part in workshops, as well as to explore their senses while experiencing the installation-performance "Wilderness" by Tarryn Lee, in which they are taken on a journey of everyday life without sight, with the guidance of blind companions. Workshops and panel discussions further deepen the dialogue and understanding of 'Disabling (Dis)Ability'.

For further information, please contact DFL Projects Manager Caryn Green on (011) 717-4727 or e-mail Caryn.Green@wits.ac.za or visit the Drama For Life Web site.

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