Projects & Events


20 August 2010 In August we teamed up with Drama For Life to present a workshop called Life Beats that explored the challenges and opportunities of writing about performance art that deals with HIV.

The South African HIV epidemic has been an important news story. By reporting on HIV, journalists have been able to ask pertinent questions about political leadership, service delivery and human rights.

But HIV is also a story about the human spirit – one that is often told through the performing arts. Writing about these creative processes can offer both journalists and their audiences an entirely different perspective on the epidemic.

The Life Beats workshop sought to bridge the gap between HIV as news and HIV as human drama as it explored synergies and parallels between journalism and performing art.

Seasoned experts took participating journalists through a series of “modules” that explored tensions and overlaps in the arts and journalism, and explored the ethics and science of HIV. See the programme below for more detail.

Participating journalists came from a variety of backgrounds but all found common ground reporting on performing art and HIV.

As the workshop was hosted in conjunction with the annual Drama For Life Festival, Life Beats also gave participants the opportunity to put their new skills to the test. Participants watched an excerpt from PJ Sabbagha’s Deep Night and engaged with the choreographers and dancers afterwards. Some of these writing exercises are listed below and in our blogs section.

We are also very pleased that the workshop received quite a bit of publicity. Articles written by the participants were published on, City of Joburg’s website and in

Follow the links below for more.

Publications and Presentations