The history of South Africa is steeped in resistance to oppressive white minority rule. However, many of the same inequalities still remain. The arts have always been integral to the struggle for liberation in South Africa and our social justice theme will focus on Arts as Resistance in South Africa. Historically, arts have been used as protest with the formation of the Union of South African Artists in 1952 and was instrumental during the Black Consciousness Movement in the form of literature, theater, graffiti, photography and resulted in promoting and mobilizing Black Consciousness ideology and strengthening black audience identity. This Alternative Break be exploring historical sites, visiting museums, and working with a variety of organizations and individuals in order to learn the history of South African art and resistance, to examine current systems and resistance, and to make comparisons between South Africa and the United States. Ultimately, participants will be equipped to question the shortcomings of full political sovereignty in South Africa by examining the continuation of anti-black oppression stemming from the difficulty of sustaining radical resistance.
Alyssa Moncure is a sophomore studying sociology and African American and African diaspora studies. In addition to participating in on campus organizations such as the Darkening to mobilize students toward a greater consciousness of our sociopolitical reality, Alyssa also is involved in community organizing efforts with Blackout: Generation Liberation and Food, Clothing, and Resistance Collective based in DC. Alyssa is passionate about establishing sustainable communities for the oppressed based on the principles of collectivism, independence, resistance, and healing. Alyssa hopes to share her love for liberation theories and practices, healing and spirituality, as well as their love for the arts and music on this trip. Alyssa participated in the 2016-2017 Alternative Break trip.
Melissa Kelley is a junior studying Film and Literature. She is passionate about all forms of art and the ability for art to transcend aesthetics as a form of healing. She is also passionate about Pan Africanism and the liberation of oppressed peoples with a specific interest of those in the United States, South Africa, and Haiti. Melissa participated in the 2016-2017 South Africa Alternative Break Program.
“I am incredibly excited to lead and learn alongside students as they build lifelong relationships with community partners, learn about the histories and systems of South Africa, and learn how art can make an impact towards liberation!”