Eliot Moleba is a South African Oslo-based scholar, writer, editor, theatre-maker and director. He is one of the founding members of PlayRiot, a collective of playwrights committed to telling bold, contemporary South African stories. He holds an honours degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, where he also completed his MA in Critical Diversity Studies, which looked at narrative research: interrogating youth identity constructions in South Africa. Moleba is the former resident dramaturg at The South African State Theatre. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Theatre Directing at The Oslo National Academy of the Arts.
My work is committed to addressing contemporary socio-political issues that are largely affecting young people – both on a local and international level. To understand my artistic direction, it is imperative to first give a brief contextual framework because most of my work is rooted in an ‘activism’ paradigm:
In South Africa, apartheid did not end in 1994. Its legacies continue to permeate our ‘new’ society. Even though apartheid based on race is outlawed, the systematic inequality of wealth distribution has been ingrained in the fiber of our society; its cruelty and injustice are underwritten by the continued economic apartheid. The ‘new’ South Africa has inherited the “race privilege” of the past, and with it, the lack of transformation, especially to re-dress economic disparities, has allowed us to perpetuate, to a large extent, the old unequal race-relations. After 1994’s negotiated settlement, though political liberation was realised, much of black and coloured people’s socio-economic conditions did not improve. Still, the transition has changed the ways in which we think and talk about our own identities and the identity of South Africa. We are acquiring a new language; a language of democracy, and for over 20 years now, we are all learning how to speak this new language both to re-define who we are as individuals and as a collective (a national ‘community’ or a new country).
My academic and creative interests are located at the intersection between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ South Africa, and how it shapes or affects young people in ways that could enable and/or limit, new identity construction(s) in our democratic landscape. More broadly, I am interested in how people, especially the youth, make sense of who they are in this ever changing yet unchanging world.
If you are involved or interested in related work, I welcome a conversation wherever you might be in this great big world. I love talking to other theatremakers, designers, actors, writers, directors, etc.
Yours in story,
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