At A Glance:
  • Upcoming departures:
    June 22 - July 5, 2020

    Sojourn begins:
    South Africa

    Sojourn concludes:
    Cape Town,
    South Africa

    Price from:
    $3,775/person (DO)
    $4,350/person (SO)

    Combines with:
    In the Footsteps of the Plantagenets

  • The past quarter century has been a time of tremendous change for South Africa as it has experienced a political, cultural, and social revolution that is seldom seen. This period has witnessed the country’s transition from a brutal, segregated regime that institutionalized racism and concentrated wealth and power in the hands of the minority, to a fledgling new democratic republic with the world’s most inclusive constitution and bill of rights. The process has been rocky and, to be certain, it has not yet been fully realized. But today the new Republic of South Africa provides a remarkable window through which to view a society’s transformation from tyranny to democracy.

    The performing arts play a rich, vital role in a country like South Africa, with its fraught history, and its many disparate and interesting citizens—who hail from diverse cultures, languages, and races. And, as with many periods of social, cultural, and political transformation, artists in South Africa have been vanguards of the ongoing social and cultural change. The performing arts in South Africa, therefore, continue to resonate with political overtones and undertones as this society continues the revolution it began some twenty-five years ago.

    Join us to witness the story of a country transformed—and yet still transforming. Together we will explore South Africa’s history and politics and view them through the unique prism of its arts and culture. Our journey will include an amazing array of world-class performances at the National Arts Festival–a spectacular, annual event which draws artists, performers, and thinkers from across the African continent and offers us the chance to see and engage with these people who use theatre, film, and dance to perform themselves, articulate their dreams, and question the power structures of their worlds. Our experience will be augmented by visits to museums and monuments that help us to better understand how such spaces also “perform” and “narrate” multiple stories of a people and a nation.

    In the end, we will witness first-hand how the performing arts offer a unique lens through which one can reflect upon questions of social justice, race, class, gender politics, history, language, and memory. But we will also grasp so much more than merely that. Because as we savor the sights and sounds, fables and flavors, potentials and pitfalls of this beautiful land—a place our sojourn leader affectionately calls “the most dramatic country on Earth”—we will also discover how the arts are not simply a mirror which reflects society, but also, as Bertolt Brecht suggested, a hammer which can be used to shape it.

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