Alexandra Sutherland (Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education)

Photo credit: Liam Cornell

Alexandra Sutherland is the co-ordinator of creativity in activist education at the Tshisimani Centre for Activist education in Cape Town. Her role involves developing arts- based pedagogies for political education with grass roots movements and organisations as well as supporting these movements to incorporate the arts in campaigns, education and activism. She was an Associate Professor at Rhodes University Drama department from 2001- 2017, where she taught theatre for social and political change, post-colonial and South African theatre and feminist performance. She is currently a research affiliate at the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at UCT and has published on practice-led research in RIDE: Journal of Applied Theatre & Performance; South African Theatre Journal as well as in edited collections.

Her practical and theoretical research interests focus on gender and performance in criminal justice settings, the political possibilities of theatre spaces in rigid institutions, and documenting  and co-creating African-centric performance activism practices with youth and social justice movements in South Africa.

Alexandra is a Co-Investigator on the Phase 2 Large Grant project ‘Imagining Otherwise: Transforming Spaces through Arts Education‘ (South Africa).

 Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education

The Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education has a driving inspiration: to nourish, replenish and sustain the power and capacity of activist movements, organisations and networks engaged in grassroots struggle to build a just society in South Africa and internationally. Formed in early 2016, the Tshisimani Centre provides structured and reflective learning programmes for social justice activists to complement their experience in fundamentally addressing, and finding solutions to, the injustices faced daily by the poor, marginalised and disenfranchised.

Building our courses in conversation with activists, we question the ways in which intersections of class, race and gender, give rise to massive and exploitative differentials in wealth, power, privilege and opportunity. We are committed to building a unique and inclusive space for combining specialist expertise of leading intellectuals with the knowledge and skills gained by activists in struggle on the streets and in communities.

Located in South Africa and oriented towards struggles in Africa and elsewhere, the Tshisimani Centre is focused on developing an understanding of inequality and injustice, and a vision for change that is global in scope.