MotherTongue research & publications


The Mothertongue Project has over the years nurtured relationships with various tertiary institutions, which has enabled us to foster a culture of research that has become central to our work. We also network nationally and internationally with individuals and organisations engaged in the arts, and in women’s and youth rights lobbying and advocacy.

Our work has been presented on various platforms at international conferences and is taught as part of an undergraduate course on Applied Theatre at the University of Cape Town. There have also been a number of research outputs published by Mothertongue directors and project staff, as well as publications and research projects undertaken by other people.

These include:

  • Matchett, S & Cloete, N. 2015. Performativities as activism addressing gender-based violence and rape culture in South Africa and beyond. In African Theatre 14 Contemporary Women. Suffolk: James Currey. 17-29.

  • Cloete, N., Dinesh, N., Hazou R. & Matchett, S. 2015. E(lab)orating Performance: transnationalism and blended learning in the theatre classroom. In Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. 20(4): 470-482.

  • Matchett, S & Okech, A. 2015. Uhambo: pieces of a dream – waiting in the ambiguity of liminality. In Fleishman, M (ed). Performing Migrancy and Mobility in Africa: Cape of Flows. Hampshire: Palgrave. 110-124.

  • Matchett, S. & Mokwena, M. 2013. Washa Mollo: Theatre as a Milieu for Conversations and Healing. In Barnes, H. (ed). Arts Activism, Education, and Therapies. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi. 107-125.

  • Matchett, S. 2012. Breath as Impulse, Breath as Thread: breath as catalyst for making an autobiographical performance in response to ‘corrective rape’ and hate crimes against lesbians. In South African Theatre Journal (SATJ). 26(3): 280-291. Available:

  • Matchett, S. 2009. Breathing Space: Cross-community professional theatre as a means of dissolving fixed geographical landscapes. Lap Lambert Academic Publishing. Koln

  • Matchett, S. 2005. Feminist Africa. Women Mobilized. Collaborative Conversations: The Mothertongue Project in Profile. Issue 4. Available:

  • The organisation’s work in Manenberg formed the basis of the former Programme Manager’s MA thesis on dramaturgy as feminist methodology.

  • The organisation’s work on cross-community professional theatre in Darling formed the basis of the Artistic Director’s MA thesis in theatre and performance.

  • The organisation’s work around making theatre with women in South Africa, forms the context for the Artistic Director’s PhD.

  • We are featured in “Strengthening Resistance”, a report released by the Centre for Women’sGlobal Leadership among innovative projects addressing the intersections between violence against women and HIV/AIDS.

  • We are featured in the Autumn 2006 issue of 'Exchange on HIV/AIDS, Sexuality and Gender', a quarterly - 16-page magazine on HIV/AIDS from the perspective of gender, sexuality and sexual health.

  • In 2006 we were featured in Creative Exchange: the network for culture and development’s website.

  • We are featured in USAIDS 2009 compendium entitled Integrating Multiple Gender Strategies to Improve HIV and Aids Interventions: a Compendium of Programs in Africa

  • We form part of a Toolkit entitled Act, Learn, and Teach: Theatre and HIV/AIDS Toolkit for Youth in Africa ,released by UNESCO in 2006.

  • The Mothertongue Project presented a paper at the Toronto World Aids Conference 2006 on our work in Khayelitsha.