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Wednesday, August 4, 2021


(Right: Claire Craighead)

JOMBA! Khuluma Blog: 

In 2010, the inaugural JOMBA! Khuluma Writing Residency was hosted under the mentorship of veteran South African dance writer and journalist, Adrienne Sichel. In 2015, Clare Craighead joined Sichel as co-host, and has subsequently taken on the duties of hosting, administering and delivering the platform on behalf of JOMBA!

The aim of the residency is to provide graduate students studying dance the opportunity to grow their skills as dance writers, while also experiencing the rigours of working as a festival journalist.

“Initially, these students were drawn from UKZN's Drama and Performance Studies Programme. However, in 2020 in lieu of our first fully digital festival we welcomed students from WITS University as well as the University of East London in the UK. 2021 sees a further three student co-horts joining. Locally, we welcome students from The University of the Western Cape and Durban University of Technology; Internationally, we are joined by students from The United Arab Emirates through a collaboration with UAE based organisation “The Co|laboratory”. Additionally, in 2020 we partnered with See Chicago Dance, and welcomed the first co-hort of SCD writing fellows as participants in our Khuluma Writing Residency, 2021 continues this partnership,” Craighead explains.

“The Khuluma runs as a series of seminars and critical discussions, that engage our young writers in the mechanics and ethics of reviewing; and our growing international co-hort also enables rich cross-cultural engagement,” she adds.

This year marks the second digital JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience and has also prompted a four-country collaboration for the JOMBA! Khuluma platforms, which sees a meeting between South Africa, UK, USA and our newest collaborators from the UAE.

Craighead is joined locally by long-time JOMBA! Khuluma collaborator Tammy Ballantyne (The ARTchive, Johannesburg). International collaborators include UKZN and JOMBA! alumni Dr Sarahleigh Castelyn from the School of Arts and Creative Industries, University of East London (UK); Lauren Warnecke from See Chicago Dance, Chicago (USA); 2020 See Chicago Dance writing fellow Associate Professor Gregory King (Kent State University, USA) and inaugural Khuluma Writing Residency participant and now Artistic Director of UAE-Based arts collaborative “The Co|laboratory”:  Lauren Noble.

“We are also proud to welcome back UKZN Honours graduate Lisa Goldstone as our in-house isiZulu translator for our Khuluma platforms, thus enabling our second bilingual Khuluma edition,” says Craighead.

For more information on JOMBA!, visit


Reviews of the JOMBA! Festival from the JOMBA! Khuluma Writing Residency will be featured on artSMart. This process will form part of the aim to increase their writing skills.