Title

‘I Was Those Thousands!’: Memory, Identity and Space in John Kani’s Nothing But the Truth

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

TheatreResearch International

Volume

32.1

Publication Date

2007

First Page

68

Last Page

84

Abstract

John Kani's Nothing But the Truth (2002) dramatizes South Africa's collective confrontation with its traumatic past – played out on the public stage most visibly in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings – through the personal situation of Sipho Makhaya and his family. This essay analyses the obstacles Sipho and his daughter face in their attempts to negotiate new identities within the shifting social and physical geographies of post-apartheid South Africa. Identities in the apartheid era were rooted in specific places and socio-spatial configurations that are now being radically and rapidly transformed; Kani's play implies that this transitional moment in the country's history provides the opportunity to rewrite the codes that determine the ways that space is produced and used, and in the process to alter the ways that people form identities and memories in relation to both social space and other people.

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