The Xenophobia Project was a collaborative project with the Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town. For this project I worked with the dramatherapist Amelda Brand from Stellenbosch University and the independent filmmaker Nicky Newman, with lots of help from the Scalabrini staff, especially Jade Bell. The aim of the project was to create materials and implement training for Scalabrini’s Unite As One youth outreach programme (which works with high school students to build social cohesion and transformation in South African society).
The Xenophobia Project had three phases. In the first phase in April 2017, we worked with twelve migrants from the DRC, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda, using creative writing and dramatherapy techniques to explore their memories of experiencing hardship in their home countries, the journey of coming to South Africa and what is has been like to settle in South Africa. We worked separately with men and women.
In the second phase in April 2018, we worked with scholars from Unite As One to explore the stories we had gathered from the migrants, and to talk about how the scholars experience prejudice in their daily lives.
In the final phase we worked with Scalabrini staff, to train staff in using expressive arts techniques as part of their community outreach.
Nicky Newman made a short film as part of this work. The film is a vibrant five-minute exploration aimed at South African teenagers about the meaning of human rights. If it would be useful for you/ your organisation to use the film you can access it via this link.
This work was funded by the Brunel University Researcher Idea Award.