Chris de Beer
Wed 22 Aug Sat 25 Aug
Dance / Performance

Black Privilege

Mamela Nyamza
22 Aug
25 Aug

The dancer, choreographer and activist Mamela Nyamza has caused quite a stir on the international scene for a number of years now. She consistently places her personal biography as a black African lesbian mother within the general debate about the failed rainbow nation of South Africa, where racism and machismo are both regaining strength along with the divisions between high and tribal culture and between different linguistic and tribal regions. Instead of rapprochement, reconciliation and the exchange of views, this remarkable artist born in Cape Town in 1976 detects greater compartmentalization, stricter racial separation and a climate of fear now exerting a firm grip over a national that was once a model of the post-colonial idea.

In her new work Black Privilege, whose performance here at PACT Zollverein in Essen will be the first outside South Africa, Mamela Nyamza focuses her attention on the hypocritical structure underlying our societies in which everyone is permanently judged and pre-judged. Switching back and forth between a ritual in which she summons up various aspects of strong women and a court process in which powerful figures are held to account for their horrific deeds, Mamela Nyamza blurs the boundaries between spirituality and the law. Rejected and unrecognized heroines of the African struggle for independence are brought back to life, judged and perhaps also celebrated.

INTERVIEW: Lisa Tracy Michalik for Missy Magazine



Black Privilege
Chris de Beer

Further Information

Introduction 45 minutes prior to show

Artist talk 23rd of August after the performance

A commission by Ruhrtriennale co-produced by PACT Zollverein and National Arts Festival, South Africa. Hosted by PACT Zollverein for the Ruhrtriennale.


Choreographie, Dance Mamela Nyamza
Bodypainting Morag Pringle
Dramaturgy Sello Pesa
Lighting and Stage Design Wilhelm Disbergen

Further Information


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