Breathing through the feet by Sibusiso Mkhize | Screening + Q&A

Online via Zoom
Monday 20 February 2023 (17:00-19:00)

My voice is my body. My body breathes and sounds each day as I live.
I breathe English, but I do not live it. I live isiZulu, isiNdebele, seSotho.
This is me, breathing through my feet

Aerial view looking down on two people sitting on the ground, legs spread, facing each other, but looking at the groundPresented by Global Language Advocacy Day in partnership with The MOSAIC Group for Research on Multilingualism and Drama and Theatre Arts, University of Birmingham.

Join us for the screening of this short film documenting a performance-based methodology for language revitalisation alongside Q&A session with the director, Sibusiso Mkhize, and the dramaturg/researcher, Dr Claire French. Chaired by Dr Kamran Khan.

Breathing through the feet (2022) was developed in response to a contemporary, post-apartheid and Johannesburg-based language ecology. Guided by Mkhize, actors Nomvuyo Buthelezi, Moeketsi Kgotle and Nonhlanhla Precious Masombuka each explored isiZulu, isiNdebele and seSotho in consciousness-raising sessions; wrote autobiographical poetry with these resources; trained in and decolonised compositional tools for performance-making; and, developed tools in dialogue with their poems on the grounds of the University of the Witwatersrand. Breathing through the feet introduces the methodology for language revitalisation that evolved from this process.

The project, supported by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of the Witwatersrand and Arts Research Africa, is a challenge to the continuation of English-only higher education across Africa, both within monolingual European and Arabo-Islamic universities. 

Please join us for this Zoom event, Monday 20th February 5pm GMT: 

The screening is part of Global Language Advocacy Day, a vast programme of activities promoting linguistic justice, with this year’s theme Language rights save lives. Due to industrial action at UK universities, the event will take place two days before the worldwide programme.