Disrupting Historical Mis-representations and Constructions: Talawa Theatre, Tiata Fahodzi, and Representations of Polyphonic Africa on the Contemporary London Stage
Historically, representations of Africa on the London stage mirror socio-political conditions of different periods of Africa-British encounters. The results were often images of Africa that many people of African descent would not recognise; primitive, underdeveloped, and a curiosity seen through a European gaze. The rise of issue-based theatres from the 1970s paved the way for Talawa, Tiata Fahodzi, and a newer generation of playwrights to spearhead a re-thinking of Africa on the London stage that reflects Africa’s historical and cultural pluralisms. As different stages of Black people’s responses to misrepresentations and marginalisation Talawa and Tiata Fahodzi disrupt images of monolithic Africa. Both are instrumental in mainstreaming Africa/Black British experience and the journey from homogenised symbolic images to polyphonic representations of Africa on contemporary London stage.
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