Start main page content

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Psi #28 Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa Uhambo Luyazilawula: Embodied Wandering Practices 2 – 5 August 2023

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Psi #28 Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa Uhambo Luyazilawula: Embodied Wandering Practices
2 – 5 August 2023


Performance Studies international (PSi), in collaboration with the Theatre and Performance and Drama for Life Departments at Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg, South Africa, invites responses to the call for proposals for the PSi #28 conference in 2023.

This blended conference focuses on embodied wandering practices as Performance Studies modalities internationally, with specific reference to the African context. Uhambo is an IsiZulu word that translates to ‘a journey’. The phrase uhambo luyazilawula loosely translates to ‘a journey controls itself’. That is to say that while destinations may be planned, the act or process of journeying and the outcomes of that journey can never truly be controlled. To surrender to the journey connects us to ways of understanding and critiquing how we came to be through praxis and reflection. Performance Studies as a creative art and a research paradigm is a useful lens through which to contemplate and unpack the significance of journeying as embodied practices of movement, nomadism, migration, immigration and cultural exchanges, amongst its many other dimensions.

Grounding the conference theme in the concept of ‘uhambo’ and ‘uhambo oluzilawuyalo’ centres African performance praxis and pedagogies as dynamic and unpredictable provocations which challenge conventional creative and scholarly research modes. These provocations have the potential to develop and transform performance practices and pedagogies in the field of Performance Studies, in Africa and around the world.


The conference invites proposals for online, in-person, or blended participation in various formats that include:

  • Pre-planned panel presentations and roundtables (of 60 minutes)
  • Individual papers: in-person (20 minutes); online (12 - 15 minutes)
  • Short articles, poetic writing, or posters (max. 2000 words)
  • Performances and/or installations (20 – 30 minutes with minimal technical support)
  • Laboratory/workshop sessions (90 minutes)


The conference will be organised according to the following subthemes:

  • Performative ‘wanderings’: creative journeys and intersections between past, present, and future, digital and in-person;
  • Nomadic lifestyle and cultural exchanges;
  • The meaning of home and belonging, including ‘home’ as a creative point of departure;
  • Indigenous knowledge systems and cultural performance practices;
  • Alternative epistemologies: explorations of undiscovered performances, pedagogies and practices;
  • The migration of performance and performance studies;
  • Intergenerational explorations and re-memberings;
  • Environmental reflections and recovering ecologies through travel;
  • The nature of identity/identities in the context of mobility, wandering, and fluidity
  • Digital nomad interactions (transnational digital and telecommunication communities – economic, environmental, cultural, social);
  • Wandering performance disciplines and the historical intersection and uniqueness of performance disciplines in Africa;
  • Wondering storytellers: healing and applied performance work – the intersections of community work, development, healing, and travelling performance in Africa.
  • Mapping creative economies: funding, festivals and administration of creative practices.