ULWEMBU is a collaborative documentary-theatre project, that brings together citizens and civil society to engage the interface between street-level drug-addiction, policing and mental health in the city of Durban, South Africa
The play’s main purpose is to make visible the invisible life worlds of highly vulnerable people in Durban, and its surrounds. As well as create new social learning opportunities for the Police, Department of Health, NGOs, families of users, and other groups. ULWEMBU is a profound expeirence that allows participants to emmerse themselves empathetically into very complex learning environments.
"I was profoundly touched by Ulwembu and it's quest for humanity and dignity... there is no such thing as good and evil in places of survival..."
Professor Monique Marks,
Director of the Urban Futures Centre
"...this play challenges us, in a very graphic way, to face up to the human face of the problem and recognise that we do not know who it will hurt and how"
Director – the Denis Hurley Centre
The project is led by Writer/Director Neil Coppen, actress/story-teller Mpume Mthombeni, Dylan McGarry (Educational Sociologist and artist) and the BIG BROTHERHOOD (Vumani Khumalo, Phumlani Ngubane, Ngcebo Cele, Sandile Nxumalo and Zenzo Msomi) in association with the Urban Futures Centre, Twist Theatre Development Project (Twist Durban), Think Theatre and the generous constant support of the Denis Hurley Centre. This project is primarily funded by the OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS, as well as TWIST, UFC, The Playhouse Company and the Denis Hurely Centre
Special thanks to Monique Marks, Kira Ewrin, Emma Durden, Tina La Roux, Bryan Hiles, Margie Coppen, Rogers Ganesan, Stephanie Jenkins, Tamar Meskin, Raymond Perrier, Father Stephen Tully, Col. Vuyana, Cpt. Dingaan, Rob Chetty, Chris Overall, Commissioner Steve Middleton, Lynette Machado at Sad Sacks, Kathryn Bennett, Val Adamson, Colwyn Thomas, Braam du Toit, Karen Logon, Iain (Ewok) Robinson, Don Fletcher, UKZN, DUT and Carrots & Peas at Kenneth Gardens.
The above pictures courtesy of Jason Chung