This article is an extended version of two papers exploring White Spectatorship in Victorian Britain. The article describes the process and methodology of the practice-as-research project ‘The Story of the African Choir' that Collins developed with the Market Theatre Laboratory in Johannesburg between 2005-07. This work as well as revealing hidden aspects of the colonial period speculates about the extent to which the black educated middle class in the late nineteenth century exercised agency and self-determination in terms of the ways in which they ‘fashioned' their identity.
In the article Collins offers a critical perspective on the way in which this group attempted to construct a ‘stage' persona designed to meet the expectations of western audiences, and speculates about the extent to which the failure of the tour may be attributed to the Choir's failure to fulfil these expectations. Placing the work within the broader context of nineteenth century spectacle and using Erlmann's notion of the ‘co-authorship of identity as part and parcel of imperial practice', Collins argues that these aspects of the colonial past have not disappeared in the post-colonial era. Rather the mutual reinforcement of ‘false' identities continues as part and parcel of the trade in global cultural commodities. By implication this raises questions about the production and reception of current work from the continent of Africa and specifically the ways in which live performance is contributing to the construction of identity/identities in the relationships between South Africa and the West.
|Type of Research:||Article|
|Additional Information (Publicly available):|
This article is not freely available because of the publisher's copyright restrictions. Please contact ualresearchonline to request a copy for your own research and study.
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > Wimbledon College of Art|
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Art
|Date:||01 June 2007|
|Digital Object Identifier:||doi:10.1386/stap.27.2.95_1|
|Related Websites:||http:\\www.ejpcollins.info, http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/stap.27.2.95_1|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||24 Sep 2009 14:09|
|Last Modified:||14 Aug 2015 08:06|