The ReTAGS project proposes to take a concept – tragedy – from the very beginnings of theatre in its European manifestation and to reimagine it from a perspective in Africa that is directed at the complex challenges of our global postcolonial present and towards our possible futures both inside and outside of the discipline.

The project aims to understand how tragedy has been refigured in the post-colonial theatre; how moments of tragic excess are enacted outside of the theatre in the course of revolts against neo-colonial establishments and forces; and, in an embodied, performative manner, how tragedy might be utilised as a tool for understanding the present regime of time and its performative effects in the global neo-colonial complex that characterises the world as it is emerging now across all hemispheres.

The ReTAGS research comprises of three main areas of investigation:

  • Study of the archive of postcolonial tragedies produced by an earlier generation in the immediate aftermath of direct colonial rule with a specific focus on theatricality, through field research interviews
  • Performance analysis of instances of ‘excessive’ revolt outside of the theatre, mostly enacted by a younger generation in the neo-colonial aftermath
  • Artistic research investigations of tragedy/the tragic through the development and documentation of four new practice-based research productions

This research is being showcased on UCT's digital collections showcasing site called Ibali.  The site is powered by Omeka S, a web publishing platform for institutions showcasing digital cultural heritage collections. It is a space where academics and performance makers can engage with our current research, as well as contribute towards it. Here you have the opportunity to: 

  • Listen to audio interviews from our field research and download the audio transcriptions.
  • Browse and search rehearsal videos, audio and photographic research objects of the developing productions.
  • Meet the people involved in the project and explore the media they are connected to.
  • Wonder through our specially curated exhibition pages, to give you a themed tour through the archive.
  • Participate in the archive by submitting your knowledge or audience reviews of existing Greek Tragedy Theatre adaptations in the Global South.

Please go have a look at the living archive on the digital showcasing site as it continues to grow and expand throughout the next five years: Online showcase repository