Ambidlala: towards a method of refluxivity in play

Moys, Anthea Julian Dineo (2022) Ambidlala: towards a method of refluxivity in play. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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This practice research PhD is a multifaceted exploration and exposure of structural violence in play. It reveals that there is a reluctance in both my own past practice, as well as play and performance studies scholarship to examine play in relation to violence. Having lived under the apartheid regime and creating work in the post-apartheid years in South Africa has consequently meant that I am deeply sensitised to anti-exclusionary practices. My initial research question for this practice research was: how has my performance practice, that engages play as a method, been complicit with the violence of apartheid? This question challenged me to return to a past practice from 14 years ago, where blind-racial violence took place, to a work co-created in a “post”-apartheid context with Prince Khosi in his boxing gym in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2007.

Through autoethnography, semi-structured interviews and performative writing the research was conducted over three years in both the UK and South Africa. It includes three practices, the data from which I worked as material in creating the final practice research output: a polyvocal autoethnographic text which is at the heart of this thesis. From this text, I drew out three largely unexamined focal points related to the overarching theme of implicit violence in play: ambiguity, privilege and bodies. Drawing on feminist and performance studies theorists, I critically examine these three interrelated themes and their relation to implicit violence, insights from which inform the methodology of ambidlala and its method of refluxivity. Ambidlala (“ambi” = “both” in English and “dlala” = “play” in Zulu) is a reflexive methodology that requires critical awareness of the role of ambiguity, privilege and bodies in play in a “post”-apartheid context. In these ways, this thesis makes a unique, timely and important contribution to play and performance studies scholarship.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: anti-racist methodologies for play in performance studies, boxing and flux sports, implicit violence in post-apartheid South Africa, ambiguity, privilege and bodies in play,pPoly-vocal autoethnography and reflexivity
Subjects: W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2022 15:16
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 15:30

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