Digital Drama: Teaching and Learning Art and Media in Tanzania

TaSUBa Theater

A key actor in Digital Drama, the TaSUBa Theater is at the epicenter of institutional transformations. In the early 1990s, Sweden and Norway supported the construction of a magnificent , with a theater building decorated with makuti (thatched) roof and a seating capacity of over 1,000 in an open-air auditorium. The theater was a landmark in the East African art world, and the heart of the college's social body. On 31 January 2002 the theatre burned down. The reason remains unknown, but a faulty electric wire may have been the cause of the fire. The event marked the beginning of what social anthropologist Victor Turner refers to as social drama, with four phases of action: breach, crisis, redressive action, and restoration. The fire itself was a breach or symbolic transgression, followed by a crisis, especially in governance. In the next phase, redressive action, the college (BCA) was transformed into an executive agency (TaSUBa). The final phase, restoration, has proven highly conflictual. TaSUBa has been reconfigured according to the dictates of neoliberal public sector reform, reaffirming relations with government agencies and external partners. But the new social structure is quite unstable, with segmented social relations and latent social conflicts simmering under the polished surface of executive management. This social drama of executive transformation is the story of Digital Drama.
 

 

 

Photo 1: Old theater destroyed in a fire on 31 January 2002.
 

Photo 2: Reconstruction of theater in 2004 with support from Sweden and Norway
 

 

Photo 3: Murals painted by art students framing the old theater

 

Photo 4: Mural inside the old auditorium


Photo 5: 2004 Arts Festival Tamasha la Sanaa
 

Photo 6: Cultural performances on stage of burned down theater


Photo 7: Bagamoyo audience at festival in 2004


Photo 8: Bagamoyo audience at festival in 2004


Photo 9: Safety and security or sanaa?

Photo 10: Inauguration of TaSUBa Theater at Tamasha la Sanaa na Utamaduni 2008


Photo 11: Art objects and handicraft on sale by travelling vendors


Photo 12: Author attending inauguration of new theater in 2008 



Photo 13: Audience slowly filling up the new fire-proof auditorium


Photo 14: VIP table for select dignitaries attending inauguration ceremony


Photo 15: A lit torch: an act of defiance or subjugation? 


Video 1: Passing the Torch


Photo 16: KWENYE UKINGO WA THIM(At the Edge of Thim) written by Ebrahim Hussein

 
Photo 17: Traditional culture on stage during the festival

Video 2: Wataturu


Photo 18: NOTA student exchange performance


Photo 19: Guest artists from Japan


Photo 20: Evening audience