Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften



2021 Annual International Conference of African Theatre Association Conference (AfTA)  


Ageing, Old Age, and Disability in African and African Diaspora Performance, Film and Festival

The Department of African Studies, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany  July 14th -16th, 2021


Dear conference participants,

We are excited because soon, we shall be meeting ONLINE for the AfTA 2021 annual conference organised here at the Humboldt University.

You will find the conference programme.

--> Programme

You will also find information about the exciting performances and play readings that will feature during the conference.

--> Performances

Please register until Wednesday July 7. Kindly notify us as soon as the transaction is done (


For questions and inquiries about the conference, please contact the conference convener, Pepetual Mforbe Chiangong, at:



Call for Papers and Performances

Critics of performing arts in Africa and its diaspora have engaged with a wide range of topics in their writing, but there is limited critical engagement with ageing, old age, and disability. It is this dearth of critical discourses and debates on old age in African literary and theatre studies that has inspired the theme of the 2021 annual African Theatre Association Conference. The conference invites scholars, practitioners and activists of performance to focus their contributions on three areas which are mutually exclusive, yet incredibly inclusive, namely: ageing, old age—age(able)ism embodied—and disability. AfTA 2021 aims to create a platform on which these contributions will reflect critically on the role, representation, status and significance of elderly people in performing arts (theatre, oral performance, community theatre, drama, spoken word, epics, films, festivals, dance, music etc…) that are connected to Africa and its diaspora. Further, the conference invites contributions that investigate how ageing is entangled with elderly characters, performers, play directors/directing, dramatists and audiences in the debate of ageism, old age and disability in a bid to explore our understanding of performance, its production and reception. Further, the conference aims to engage critical discussions based on varied understandings, perceptions and definitions of old age, ageing and disability, as well as whether there should be any intersection between these categories in African performances, film and festivals. Employing old age, ageing and disability as conceptual frameworks, the conference will provoke debates on how performances articulate these subjects at critical moments of artistic production and performance. The conference seeks to ask questions including: what are the nuances that either shadow or empower the production of performance based on ageing, old age and disability? What are the cultural and transcultural underpinnings espoused when subjects related to ageing, old age and disability are evoked in the performance culture? How do class, sexuality, gender, ethnicity and nationality affect our understanding of these classifications in the context of performance, film and festival? What are the theoretical and methodological conceptualisations that one might draw from to provoke scholarly debates related to ageing, old age and disability in performance, film and festival?


We invite proposals, which focus, but are not limited to the following topics;


The representation of ageing, old age and disability Understanding of ageing, old age and disability Ageism and ableism

Resilience and performance Gender dynamics and masculinities

Queer identity ageing, old age, and disability Intersectionality

Space, time and ageing, old age and ableism

Migration, performance and ageing, old age and disability Questions of existence and ageing, old age, and disability Identity construction

Colonial and postcolonial entanglements

Medialisation of ageing, old age and disability in performance, film and festival Corporeality and materiality of ageing, old age and disability

Imagination of ageing, old age and disability Authority and generational conflict Gerontocracy

Politics, legislature and the notion of ageism and disability Customary practices on ageing and performance culture Intangible mobility of performances: past, present and future The performance of ageism in African culture


Abstract Submission deadline has been extended to March 15th, 2021.

AfTA 2021 conference is currently planned as an online event, with the possibility of incorporating an in-person element nearer the time.

For questions and inquiries about the conference, please contact the conference convener, Pepetual Mforbe Chiangong, at:




Workshop on Intervention Theatre For Gender Awareness.



The Intervention Theatre workshop embodies the second part of our seminar entitled Introduction to Intervention Theatre Theory and Practice (Sose 2013). The first part which was theoretical based introduced course participants to a historical overview of applied theatre in Africa and to major theories of participatory education propounded by Augusto Boal and Paulo Freire. As regards the practical part, course participants as expected are currently participating in a theatre project that includes guest participants from the African Women and Youth Organization (AWYO), an NGO which is based in the city of Berlin. The focus of the Intervention Theatre project is on gender categories and how this topic is understood from a Western and an African perspective. Workshop activities continue from July 15-19, 2013 at Invalidenstrasse 118, in Room 410.

The poster and flyer were created by Marianna Wegner; contact:



The pictures below portray course participants in the process of practising Augusto Boal’s Image Theatre.









Applied Theatre Workshops, Play Production and performances

Winter Semester 2018/2019. February 25th – March 1st, 2019.
“Social Theatre for Awareness and Empowerment: Focus on Gender and Migrancy”

Winter Semester 2016/2017.  February, 20th -25th, 2017. “Community Theatre for Conscientisation and Empowerment Workshop”.

September 24-29, 2017. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-DAAD Graduate School (University of Cape Coast Ghana, University of Maidiguri Nigeria and University of Hildesheim Germany). Performing Sustainability: Cultures and Development in West Africa. “Social Theatre Workshop on Culture and Sustainability”.

Spring Semester 2017. Workshop on “Migration and Social Theatre for Intervention and Consciousness-Raising”, Bard College of Liberal Arts Berlin.

June 2016.  Workshop with Prof. Fadi Skeiker (University of Amman, Jordan) on “Intervention Theatre and Object Installation: Gender”

Summer semester, 2016. Community theatre workshop with focus on Image Theatre. The Images created from this workshop were inspired by a story recounted by Alexa, a student participant. The story narrated stereotyping individuals either because of how they look or because they are engaged in a banal leisure activity in a public space.

Winter Semester 2014. Introduction to Play Production. The production of Greig Coetzee’s Happy Natives.  Two Performances of the play at the KunstFabrik Schlot,Berlin Mitte.

September 18-22, 2013. Social Theatre for the Empowerment of the Elderly in Bafut, Cameroon. Sponsored by the Frauenförderung and The Institute of Asian and African Studies of Humboldt University in Berlin.

Summer Semester 2013. July 15-19, 2013. MA Workshop on “Intervention Theatre for Gender Awareness”, Humboldt University, Berlin.  The workshop was done in collaboration with African Women and Youth Organization, an NGO which is based in Berlin.

Summer Semester 2012. Social Theatre for the Empowerment of the Elderly, University of Dusseldorf.

2001-2003. Theatre Resource Person with Prof. Bole Butake  (HELVETAS-Cameroon)

The overall goal of Helvetas (Swiss Association for International cooperation) Cameroon is to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the rural population in the North West, South West and Western Provinces of the country. They seek to maintain sustainability of natural resources, rural infrastructure, Human rights, education and culture.

Theatre Workshop Projects achieved with HELVETAS, Cameroon

April 19th -25th, 2001. Children’s Theatre for Environmental Education, Bamendankwe.    

June 1st -7th, 2001. Children’s Theatre for Environmental Education, Nkor (Noni).

August 31st-September 6th, 2001. Children’s Theatre for Environmental Education for training of trainers, Kumbo.

March 8th –14th, 2002. Children’s Theatre for Environment Education, Benakuma and Befang.

June 7th -13th, 2002. Children’s Theatre for Environmental Education, Binka.

April 27th - May 1st, 2003. Children’s Theatre on Water Management and Catchment Protection, Akeh.

2003-2005. Summer Story Time assistant at the British Council Library, Yaoundé Cameroon: Responsible for awakening the creative spirit in children through drama, games and poetry.