Train-the-trainer NLC, SRI

This collaborative project, Train-the-trainer is led by South Roots International and funded by the National Lottery Council and includes ARROWSA, Durban supported by ARROWSA Bechet and Bechet High School. The project aims to train community members from a number of areas in the Western Cape and one in Durban in the South Roots International community theatre model. This will result in a community driven production within each community by the end of the 11 months, involving the elderly in story telling, history from documents, parents involved in building sets and making costumes etc. Each community will end up with a production carrying the story of the community from historical establishment to modern day situation and hope in uncovering the redemptive purpose of the people. The Durban production will be performed in Sydenham and then in Cape Town in October 2023.

The Durban, Sydenham project is co-ordinated by the ARROWSA alumni Noluthando Shandu and Monique Mukendi with Mary Lange as administrative support. ARROWSA Bechet is participating facilitated by ARROWSA management Bheki Dlamini. Monique and Noluthando will attend training workshops in Cape Town during the preparation period before the production.

Despite that there is joy!

In this community theatre project, supported by the National Arts Council, UKZN Department of Performing Arts and Bechet High, we did the following:

1. Rehearsed and performed in Durban with local and national teenagers and youth from Durban and the Cape Flats an original community theatre musical that addresses social ills voiced by a community on gender based violence, crime and gangsterism but that still emphasises that there is joy in our communities. We built on the community theatre musical skeleton and songs and scenes created in the creative outputs of two ARROWSA co-creative multi-disciplinary national and international projects in 2022 namely Arts for mental calmness (supported by NAC) and Despite That (supported by BC).

The cast DTTisjoy

2. We shared our experience and expertise in the rehearsing and performance of community theatre musical by filming and disseminating a recording of the process of the original community theatre musical on the African continent and internationally e.g. to Indra UK (including Plymouth, Manchester, Scotland and N. Ireland groups), Palestine and India.

3. We continued to provide employment, transfer arts skills and show-case the creativity of 43 South African youth particularly from ARROWSA alumni who are in Durban and in the Cape Flats in the community theatre musical.

Technical team

4. We provided a space and platform for community pride and upliftment in Durban within a community where there is a high incidences of crime where teenagers can gain arts skills and be part of a community musical theatre production within a theatre space.

5. We exposed local and national youth artists with arts expertise from professionals in SA from Durban and Cape Town. We included artists from South Roots Int. Cape Flats and UKZN Dept of Drama and performing arts,  in the creation of a new song, refining of previously created songs and face-to-face rehearsals and community theatre production.

Musical director   

6. We included indigenous art forms of song and dance. 

7. We reinforced the skills of SASL (South African Sign Language) and sensitised audiences to the challenges of the hearing impaired by including the outputs in a music video of experts and youth signing extracts of a song Despite that.

8. We strengthened collaboration with other arts individuals, organisations and institutions locally and nationally by employing artists from Durban and Cape Flats and encouraging co-creation. We also reinforced collaboration with UK organisation that works with minority people of colour by showcasing our collaborative music video Despite That.. at the end of the musical performance.

9. We showcased how the arts may be used to address social ills and promote social change through an original community theatre musical of fine artistic standards.

Family talk

10. We provided refreshments and lunches to the youth who participated in the community musical production as especially the teenagers come from homes that are impacted by economic and social challenges.


Despite That... British Council SSA cultural exchange

Despite That... is a British Council British SSA co-created art - cultural exchange between South Africa and the UK. The project is led by ARROWSA and includes youth from ARROWSA alumni in Durban and South Roots Int. in Pelican Park, Cape Town.

The project culminated in a film Despite That! At the heart of the project the creatives from South Africa and the UK explored perceptions of each other and themselves and co-created the film to share with the world. The film recognises that each individual has challenges based onw here they live, however we can find joy in connection and shared stories Despite That!  A video of the song Despite That is also available for all ages.




partnering with youth from Beyond Face in United Kingdom. 

Beyond Face team

During the project the SA and UK youth make use of participatory arts face-to-face engagement to research/identify their stereotyping of the other countries' youth. They share their perceptions via photographs, video snippets and in online sessions. The project includes song-building workshops to co-create a song that expresses what they have experienced during the project  The song is used in a film based on a script that the hubs co-created in an online session and then they filmed in their own face-to-face spaces. The film is edited by a collaboration between editors from ARROWSA Durban, South Roots Int. and Beyond Face. 

Arts and Mental Calmness NAC

This project is funded by the South African National Arts Council. ARROWSA leads the project in partnership with ARROWSA management and ARROWSA Bechet participants, Bechet High School,  artists from South Roots Int. in the Western Cape and a lecturer and postgraduate students from the Department of Performing Arts, UKZN.


Art and Mental Calmness ARROWSA Bechet youth and artists from ARROWSA, SRI, and Dept. of Perf Arts, UKZN 2022

Project description

1. The project is a response to a request by community leaders and youth to ARROWSA for a project that promotes mental health that has been aggravated by COVID_19 and the unrest in KZN by addressing social issues through the arts and sharing arts practices that promote mental calmness.
2. The project also addresses a request by organisations within the African continent e.g., in Sierra Leone for ARROWSA to assist with videos that share arts for social change methods promoted by ARROWSA.
3. Lastly the project also provides a space for partnerships to be reinforced and ARROWSA capacity to be built by skills transference, of good arts practices for social change which promote mental calmness, with ARROWSA youth and UKZN drama students.

image theatre

Miranda Young-Jahangeer, of Dept of Perf. Arts, UKZN leads an image theatre workshop at the Arts and Mental Calmness project 2022

4. The three objectives will be achieved through a four day long community outreach of multi-discipline arts activities that: focus on social issues that aggravate mental health such as bullying, GBV, hearing impairment and identity issues and diversity divisions, share arts practices that promote mental calmness, for youth between the ages of 13 to 18 year that culminates in a community performance that takes note of COVID-19 restrictions that might be in place at the time. See a video of the community performance of Arts and Mental Calmness filmed and edited by Shanette Martin.


ARROWSA Bechet youth perform their devised drama performance at the community performance of Arts and Mental Calmness 2022

5. We will include art experts to facilitate the art activities that also serves to provide practical experience for arts students who will shadow and assist the art experts.
6. Identify applied art facilitators from partners, drama students and community youth participants.
7. Create agreements and sign between all partners and participants including informed consent forms.
8. Devise two days of multi-discipline arts workshops led by the art experts shadowed by the students.


UKZN, Dept. of Perf. Arts, UKZN postgraduate students lead a workshop at the Arts for Mental Calmness project 2022

9. Devise a multi-discipline performance on the third day from items that were part of the two days.
10. Create and disseminate marketing material to the community about the devised performance.
11. On the fourth day share the performance with the broader community.


'Cherry' the large puppet created by ARROWSA Bechet youth for the community performance in the Arts and Mental Calmness workshops 2022 led by ARROWSA alumni and management

12. Film the workshops throughout the workshops and performance when in progress and edit into digital material that promotes the methodologies used for arts for social change particularly linked to mental health issues and calmness.
13. Disseminate the workshops and performance on social media and website.
14. Disseminate the videos on websites.
15. Complete narrative and financial report requirements as per contract with funders.
16. Evaluate the success of the project and the 'where to now?' within ARROWSA and with partners to promote sustainability of the work.


They stand their ground against gender-based violence project NAC, British Council, LHM Durban

In 2021 the ARROW-INDRA SAUKINDIA project built on the 2020 climate change and culture, clothing, identity and gender issues and hosted the arts for social change Scarecrow project and skill transference workshops funded by National Arts Council in South Africa - see  Be a scarecrow against gender-based violence by ARROWSA, Scarecrows in solidarity by South Roots International and   They Stand Their Ground by ARROWSA. The project was extended in October 2021 to also emphasise the process of using recycled materials for the figures as part of My Phone Call to the World COP26 project. An image from Gorse Hill Studios Textile Woman was also added to two new banners that were added to the exhibition. We nurture our Mother Earth as we should nurture our mothers, sisters and all women and those who are victims of gender-based violence.

The South Roots International team from Cape Town visited the exhibition at Old Court House Museum in Durban in October 2021. To see their reaction to the exhibition iNkululeko Freedom.

As part of the British Council funded Phone Call to the World project, the positive impact of the figures being created out of recycled materials was acknowledged and the project was extended and improved. A monitor was added to the exhibition with videos of the youth speaking about their creations and sharing the original songs and dances that they had created for the project - see launch - Luthando Ngema and Old Court House, Durban Local History Museums

The exhibition moved to the Pine Town Local History Museum in March 2022. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of videos that adds information and provides context to the projects - see They stand their ground videos accompanying exhibition




The partners in the project included South Africa, India and UK:  ARROWSA Bechet led by Bheki Dlamini, Vincent Salanji and Mary Lange, Durban Local History Museums led by Ayanda Ngcobo and Mohau Qalaza, CCMS, UKZN represented by Luyanda Makoba-Hadebe, South Roots International led by Noluthando Shandu and Shanette Martin, Gorse Hill Studios led by Rianna Lynch and Caroline Gleaves, Touchstones Rochdale led by Natalie Crompton and Lisa Allen and SHEF led by Felipe Pozo and Arunima Trivedi.  A number of the skill transference workshops focused on gender issues particularly as related to 'what is gender?', 'What is gender-based violence?' and 'How are power relations evident in the representation of gender in public spaces?'

The project They stand their ground against gender-based violence includes the creation of artworks from recyclable materials and the representation of communities guarding against gender-based violence in the same way that scarecrows guard the crops against predators. The project takes on the form of a campaign - a sustainable campaign as called for by Ayanda Ngcobo and Bheki Dlamini in the 2020 sessions.


She who stands her ground


One of the ARROW-INDRA SAUKINDIA 2021 skills transference workshops was facilitated by multi-media UK artist Maggi Squire (see instagram @maggisquire). Inspired by Maggi's work, the gender focused workshops and personal experiences each partner country endeavoured to create figures from recyclable materials that would represent communities that are victims of gender-based violence.  Each partner was challenged to join in a campaign to stand against gender-based violence in all its forms—in the same way as a scarecrow stands in the ground to protect the crops—we will all  ‘stand our ground’ and not budge in our resolve to guard society, in whatever way we can, against gender-based violence.  


They stand their ground durban city hall

ARROW-INDRA SAUKINDIA culture, clothes and gender issues NAC

UK presentation gender violence


From August 2020 to December 2021 youth, arts practitioners and heritage practitioners from Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, Rochdale in the UK and Lucknow in India came together once every two weeks to explore culture, clothing and gender issues. This project was an extension of the South to North project and included a number of ARROWSA partners within Durban South Africa such as Ayanda Ngcobo and two interns from Bergtheil Local History Museums and CCMS, UKZN Masters student Luyanda Makoba- Hadebe as well as arts and culture facilitators Felipe Pozo and Arunima Trevidi from Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) and PhD candidate Natalie Crompton and youth from Touchstones Rochdale Museum and the youth from South Roots International in the Cape Flats.

The youth presented  and debated at each session on their particular culture's influence on clothing and gender issues. At the end of the project South Roots International's  Shanette Martin edited a video based on the project that was narrated by Sue-Livia van Wyk and titled: Culture, clothing, identity and gender issues  The video was funded by National Arts Council South Africa. 

The ARROW-INDRA SAUKINIDA and South to North projects merged in 2021 to form the Scarecrow project.



ARROW-INDRA South to North: Climate Change project NAC

climate change project


As part of an ARROWSA strategic initiative to expand and entrench local, national and international South to North and South to South partnerships, ARROWSA initiated a number of projects under the umbrella title South to North. These projects were partially funded by the National Arts Council in South Africa. Partners in the South to North Climate Change project included South Roots International in the Cape Flats, South Africa and Indra hubs in Manchester, Gorsehill Studios and Touchstones Rochdale. The project included fortnightly online arts for social change sessions that the hubs rotated in leading between June and December 2020. See ARROWSA youth, Vincent Salanji's video on old and young speaking about climate change ARROWSA leader of the Performing Arts Portfolio, Bheki Dlamini, extended the project into Bechet High School where he led the planting of trees, a vegetable garden and initiated recycling bins. The youth conducted their own research on what worked and what didn't as they explored what their highlights in the project were, what art form was used in this highlight and what action it inspired in them - see

Phone Call to the World, Creative British Council, Scottish Youth Theatre

PCTW branding

ARROWSA has participated in an exhibition in COP26 Glasgow that includes the digital works and information on the ARROWSA South African participation in the creative response to environment issues - PHONE CALL TO THE WORLD  project, led by Scottish Youth Theatre and funded by the British Council (see Phone Call to the World  website and PCTW map ). In the project young people from three continents who are hubs of Indra Congress have created digital performance-based work on climate change and topics related thereto that inform, question, confront and make demands of its different audiences. They have created short works that pack a punch in their messaging and are easily consumed via social media and other digital platforms so they can permeate more people’s daily existence. An example is the short script, created by Scottish Youth Theatre, that ARROWSA Bechet youth recorded in different languages. The script highlights the poor health of Mother Earth: Emergency services ARROWSA Bechet PCTW  

ARROWSA has led a South African (SA) team of 58 people of project leaders, arts facilitators and youth participants: 36-38 x ARROWSA Bechet and 4-6 Local History Museum Bremen alumni in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and 16 x South Roots International (SRI), Cape Flats, Western Cape Province. The work was coordinated, managed and delivered by arts facilitators with youth and secondary school students. CCMS, UKZN is also a non-arts partner of the project. The project has take place between April and November 2021. It has brought together a team of diversity that supports equity and transformation in SA. Online arts activities and face-to-face meetings for social change are the core approach. Initially local issues were explored by the two groups as they come from distinct geographical regions. In September SRI drove up the East Coast of SA to Durban to meet with ARROWSA and on the way they interacted with communities and performed Call to the World. They filmed their collaborative journey SRI Call to the World Durban trip to ARROWSA. Enroute they planted Spekboom, Portulacaria afra, that they propagated: Propagating Spekboom - SRI for PCTW .These represent “telephone poles” that reconnect the people and the environment. A week’s meeting of the two groups was held in Durban. During this they interacted with non-arts partners e.g. CCMS, UKZN facilitated webinars led by environmental activists and experts (see interim works below), they visited the Palmiet Nature Reserve, saw a demonstration by Nick Evans of KZN reptiles and visited the recycled exhibition that they had created They stand their ground that is at Old Court House Museum (see participants response to the exhibition at They stand their ground ) to learn of the impact of climate change on biodiversity. They also scripted, rehearsed and filmed a joint performance that they presented to audiences in the Western, Eastern Cape and Durban (see Production Day ), created a vegetable and cultural garden at Bechet High School in Sydenham, Durban (see Scottish Youth Theatre website ARROWSA Vegetable garden and ARROWSA vegetable and herb garden pamphlet) that they started on Heritage Day (see Heritage Day vegetable garden) and created a music video of We're in this together . This media created is disseminated on ARROWSA and South Roots International  platforms and at the Phone Call to the World COP26 exhibition in Glasgow (see Scottish Youth Theatre interactive exhibition ). 

Links to works created:   

Save the Environment ARROWSA Bechet PCTW 

Ecobricks as a tool for Environmental Education ARROWSA Web1 Jessica Ross PCTW

Localising Environmental Injustice ARROWSA  Web2 Shannon Landers PCTW

Walking in the sand Web3 Shanette Martin PCTW

Casey Spinner response ARROWSA Bechet Web2 PCTW 




Marking Memories: Rock engraving-Mashishing Mpumalanga NHC

Laurena and JP Mashishing

Marking Memories is a collaborative research project on the cross-cultural rock engraving traditions in Mashishing, Mpumalanga. The project builds on the Biesje Poort project.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions Marking Memories was adapted to an online project based on the original concept of Prof Roger Fisher of UP and Artefacts . The project is partially funded by the National Heritage Council in South Africa and focuses on the cross-cultural reception of the rock engraving heritage that falls under the Lydenburg Museum, led by archaeologist JP Celliers. The research project is based at CCMS, UKZN with the research leader, Prof Lauren Dyll. ARROWSA plays a coordinating role led by Dr Mary Lange. Several of the team mentioned, including Prof Dyll, are also on ARROWSA management. The collaborative project includes community leaders and families linked to the Boomplaats rock engraving site as well as teachers and museum staff from Mashishing. Other institutions and communities that are collaborating in the project are: KhoiSan traditional healers and crafters from the Kalahari, Belinda and Oeliset Org and Lydia, Isak and //ankie Kruiper, archaeologist Prof David Morris of McGregor Museum, Nama specialist Pedro Dausab, culture and communication specialist Luthando Ngema from UKZN and ARROWSA, development specialist Miliswa Magongo from WITS and ARROWSA, performing artist and educator Bheki Dlamini from Bechet High School and ARROWSA,  Shanette Martin leading South Roots International team in the Cape Flats, architect Dr Magda Minguzzi from NMU, Karoo indigenous community and Graaff Reinet Museum’s Anziske Kayser, artist Tamar Mason from Artists Press and artists and indigenous community of Mpumalanga linked to Artist’s Press  . Marking Memories is presently a short-term project – 2019 to 2021 but has the potential to become an ongoing project as more specialists, individuals and communities share their perceptions of our rock/ engraving national heritage.