Walking and Waving

Walking and Waving was first performed July 2011 at The Yard Theatre.

It asks if two places can be brought together, and if you still need to pack a suitcase. It concerns my fluctuating, long distance relationship with the city of Johannesburg, my ‘home’. It is about connections in spite of migration. It is about roots because we move. It is about a floating, loose city. 

It is about my parents and their separation. It is about coming from a family of architects. It is about being a member of a global family. It is about making a space. It is about how to choose London as my home.

The process of developing the show started with skyped long-distance interviews, with my mother (an architect who has written substantially on Johannesburg, but no longer lives there) and father (an architect and development planner living in Johannesburg). I used these interviews and their transcripts as a starting point from which to generate a performative language that tries to answer the question of what Johannesburg (home) is for me now that I am away. I combined this material with the original interviews in a way that allows the voices of my parents as well as my experience to be expressed.

Through this project I want to not only archive Johannesburg, but more importantly my changing experiences of it and relationships with it. This is a protest against forgetting. And a protest against having to remember in one way only. How can my family’s urban heritage become something that I can live today? I see it as a performative archive that challenges both the notion of performance (fleeting, ephemeral, alive) and the archive (constant, finite, still).