Post-apartheid repertoires of memory
in South African performance and archives of memory
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Reza de Wet is a playwright who has consciously used nostalgic dreams to critically explore post-apartheid issues. The post-apartheid context has provoked new engagements with old histories and memories in Cape Town. This chapter considers specific patterns of innovation and issues that arise from the patterns in contemporary South African theatre. It looks at ways in which particular South African repertoires of memory are being mobilised and consider their effect. Thomas Blom Hansen has described many Indians' reactions to the changes in their position in South Africa as revealing 'melancholia of freedom'. Since the mid-1990s the engagements with classic European texts have involved experimenting with performativity and non-realistic forms. The non-realistic form is important as a methodology for interrogating an historical narrative, as it highlights the potential for multiple readings of the narratives, and thus highlights rather than obfuscates the ambiguities associated with historiography.


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