One of the most celebrated female contemporary dancers and multimedia art director, Moratiwa Molema, showcased a life changing production titled, Of Mind And Matter at Maitisong on Saturday.
The production was mainly made to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS. The production is influenced by Barolong Mouwane’s poem titled aids (written in lowercase on purpose to show how people living and affected with AIDS were belittled and discriminated against in the community).
Moratiwa, as her fans know her, successfully put her imagination to the challenge, and skillfully shaped into to a beautiful piece. She blended dance, movement, face expression and sound using her signatory multimedia projection incorporated with music to come up with a beautiful art piece.
The show started off with a guy who drinking too much alcohol and playing around. He finally got infected with HIV.
The projection shown in the cast showed the young man’s blood being contaminated. The pills symbolised ARVs. On the other side of the wall made with a white cloth were people all dressed and painted in white (a colour that symbolises purity).
After the white wall was put down, the characters on the other side mingled and danced with the main character. He later impregnates a young woman who was HIV negative. His love for alcohol, clubbing and sexual immorality led him to infect his pregnant girlfriend with the virus. Not only that, he also infects many others. The piece clearly affected the youth who attended.
The couple took off their masks and lived happily after and the performers gave the audience condoms urging them to play safe and tolerate people living with HIV.
The installation and discussion showcased the sexual behaviour among the youth. It was a type of visual poetry that used art as a trigger for discourse that also acted as a reminder that HIV/AIDS still exists.
Moratiwa’s ability to convey emotions, feelings and thoughts through dance and multimedia art was commended by the audience. They said it would stick to one’s head and help change their behaviour.
Some of the audience members suggested that she promote the production at different schools to raise awareness on how fast HIV could spread from one person to another as the it had a strong impact on viewers. According to other participants, the play showed people making love in the dark only to realise that in the day cruelty is born.
This, they said, means that people hide in the dark only to face consequences the next day. They said when the couple took off their masks it signified that one can only live happily by being open, realistic and accepting of themselves in difficult times. Even after being diagnosed with HIV.