IMPOSSIBLE MACHINES: PUPPETS, POLITICS & TRUTH COMMISSIONS
Saturday, May 2
1:00 PM – 6:30 PM
This symposium is the culmination of “South Africa in the West,” a semester-long events series at UC Berkeley. It reflects on legacies of reconciliation, accountability, and impunity in South Africa and elsewhere in the world, and benefits from the participation of Ubu and the Truth Commission co-creators and theatermakers Handspring Puppet Company, William Kentridge, and Jane Taylor.
Presented by Cal Performances in association with The Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, and the Center for African Studies.
1:00 pm: Key Note
Catherine Cole, Director and Professor, Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies
1:30-3:00 pm: Living in a Majority/Minority State
Participants will investigate the parallels between South Africa at the end of apartheid and California, raising issues of economic inequity and the realities of a minority/majority state. Featured speakers:
James Campbell, Stanford University, Department of History
Gillian Hart, UC Berkeley Department of Geography, author of “Rethinking the South African Crisis: Nationalism, Populism, Hegemony (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation)”
Belva Davis, Journalist
Alan Tansman, Director of The Townsend Center for The Humanities, UC Berkeley and Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (Moderator).
3:15-4:15: About Ubu and the Truth Commission
Playwright Jane Taylor and Catherine Cole, Director and Professor, Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, in conversation.
4:30-5:45 pm: Puppets and Politics
Handspring Puppet Company Executive Producer Basil Jones (TBC) and Janni Younge, Lead Artist on Ubu and the Truth Commission
Linda Elbow, Bread and Puppet Theater
Claudia Orenstein, Hunter College, Professor and Chair of Department of Theatre, and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance (June 2014)
Frank Smiegel, Associate Curator of Performance and Film at SFMOMA (moderator)
5:45 pm: Closing Remarks / Q & A
Alan Tansman, Director of The Townsend Center for The Humanities, UC Berkeley and Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
6:30 pm: Close