about the MotherTongue project

The MotherTongue vision

Our vision is a society where we as women and young people have safety in our bodies and our communities and where we have agency over our lives. We envision a society where (self) recognition, (self) honouring and (self) celebration of women and young people is commonplace.

The MotherTongue mission

The Mothertongue Project exists to promote the wellbeing of those most excluded, and we have identified women and young people as groups consistently marginalised in society. We are a collective of women artists, activists, academics and practitioners committed to personal and social transformation through participatory theatre and integrated arts methodologies.

how we do it

We consciously create spaces for women and youth located at the margins to speak their stories and share their experiences in order to gain power and credence within their bodies and communities.

 

We believe that participatory theatre that integrates the arts as well as the expressive arts therapies are a valuable means of enabling those most left out, and providing them with an ongoing resource for negotiating social and political obstacles that they are faced with.

 

Research has proven all forms of the creative arts to be highly effective in intra and interpersonal communication as well as in facilitating self-exploration and expression. Theatre as a communication tool opens up possibilities for conversations across multiple differences. Our work using the creative arts over the past ten years has yielded positive results with beneficiary groups ranging from transgender groups, refugees, HIV infected and affected, LGBTI groups, children and youth. We are thus convinced of the value of integrated arts methodologies, with theatre as the container, as a means of activating personal and social transformation.

why we do it

The Mothertongue Project is the first all women collective in the Western Cape. We exist to promote the wellbeing of those most excluded, and have identified women and youth as groups consistently disempowered and silenced in society. Our vision is a society where we as women and young people have safety in our bodies and our communities and where we have agency over our lives. We work towards a society where (self) recognition, (self) honouring and (self) celebration of women and young people is commonplace. Our professional theatre productions have been toured both to South African and International festivals and have included cross border collaborations. Mothertongue is also constantly developing our programme, and has a continuous flow of interest and participation. Through this contribution we aim to utilise our expertise to further the movement of the arts for social transformation.