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Harmattan Theater environmental performance collective based in NYCharmattantheatercompany@gmail.com

Cabo de Tormentoso, Cape of Good Hope

In December 2011, Harmattan Theater collaborated with the Cape Malay community of Cape Town to create an environmental performance at the historic site of colonial arrival: Dias Beach at the Cape of Good Hope. The Cape Town Malays were brought to South Africa as part of the Dutch maritime slave economy to work as laborers in South Africa in the Seventeenth century. Under Apartheid, coloreds and Africans were prohibited from accessing the spectacular beaches and waterfronts of South Africa. For the Cape Malay, being muslim doubly ostracized them under Apartheid, posing difficult challenges to their cultural claims of being South African. In Cabo de Tormentoso, the Cape Malay women of the former District 6 of Cape Town perform an excavation of memory and history at the historic Cape of Storms, later to be named Cape of Good Hope by Henry the Navigator. Walking through a landscape they were prohibited from inhabiting for centuries, these women publicly reclaim a repressed past of diasporic migrations.

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