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(En)Acting Protest: Theatre of Resistance in Apartheid South Africa

40 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 31 Aug 2010

Emily J. Moore

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2010


There has been a wider acknowledgement in recent political scholarship as to the political dimensions of cultural production even as the North American political climate increasingly erodes the capacity of artists to function effectively. Forever it seems the arts must justify themselves as effective and legitimate political practice, within terms of discourse governed by an ever-rationalizing context and hence definitively different logic. In response to this conundrum, this paper attempts two things simultaneously: to translate the unruly nature of artistic practice somewhat into seductively calculable terms; and to demonstrate therein that it might in fact be that very unruliness, that distinct and ineffable logic that defies and exceeds such terms, that is precisely the source of art’s unique capacity for democratic engagement, using the example of resistant theatre in apartheid South Africa to demonstrate.

Keywords: Democracy, Resistance, Apartheid, Theatre, Performance

Suggested Citation

Moore, Emily J., (En)Acting Protest: Theatre of Resistance in Apartheid South Africa (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN:

Emily Moore (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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