IS A COLLABORATIVE INITIATIve USING DOCUMENTARY THEATRE
AS A MEANS FOR PICTURING SUSTAINABLE PROGRESS
The complex political landscape that underlies the Proposed Fuleni Coal Mining Deal in the ecologically and socially sensitive Hluhluwe-Imfolozi region has made navigating it a tremendously difficult and confusing task for the average person living in this area. Whether a mine is created or not, now rests on the shoulders of four communities: Novunula, Ocilwane, Nthunthunga and Nthuthunga Two. As it stands the Coal mining company “Ibuthu” is bribing traditional leaders, and successfully fracturing community solidarity and trust. Unifying the community and making visible the many costs (social, economic, cultural and ecological) associated with this mine is of upmost importance.
Ibutho Coal does not understand you grow close to your land and it becomes part of you because of what happens to you there, good and bad.
Sabelo Njolo , Ocilwane Community
WHAT IS AT STAKE
Understanding this we have developed an accessible alternative to community meetings, complicated PowerPoint presentations, and public arguments/stale-mates in the form of an Applied Documentary Theatre and a social learning project, that offers comprehensive participation of all those affected by the mine, and to develop a collective imagination for alternative forms of development.
We still need to raise R150,000 to ensure this project can reach amore communities through adapting the play into radio drama that can reach millions of citizens across the country. Please consider donating to this cause. Investing in this initiative is investing in the future of one of the most important cultural and ecological areas of South Africa.
HOW WILL THIS HELP?
Drawing on real narratives we offer an objective and accessible way to understand the complexities of the Fuleni project. Having the potential future scenarios accessibly reflected to people living in the area in their own language using their own stories, can contribute to unifying the fractured community by encouraging empathy, and help provide comprehensive and objective information to those making these decisions.
This project is not just an isolated event, but rather a first step in developing a long-lived sustainable ‘community-of-practice’ that can ensure the future welfare of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi region, and we see this initiative as the beginning of longer collaboration with these four communities, as well as Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Hluhluwe-Imflolozi parks and other parties. This project does not aim to stop development in this region, but rather find the most sustainable and appropriate form of development.
ITS HAPPENING TO OTHER COMMUNITIES TOO
This short 3min film asks us to imagine what it might be like to recognize the rights of nature, as countless indigenous communities do. The 'Understanding Fuleni' project has an extensive reach into the rest of South Africa, as many other culturally and ecologically sensitive communities are struggling with similar dangers associated to prospective mines. This initiative has the potential to help these communities in the future as well, with similar documentary theatre approaches.