- School/Institute/Department: School of Drama
- Subjects: Drama
- Audience: Local Communities
Project Phakama was set up in 1996 by Lift (London International Festival of Theatre) in partnership with Sibikwa Community Theatre, Johannesburg. It was originally launched as an arts exchange programme involving young people and arts and education practitioners from communities throughout South Africa and the UK.
In the Xhosa language, Phakama means rise up, elevate and empower yourself. Accordingly, the programme offers intense cultural training which has resulted in a series of adventurous public performances that has blazed a trail of inspirational endeavour and left a legacy of networks and opportunities in its wake.
Today, Project Phakama UK is an independent charitable organisation, closely linked to Queen Mary. Two of its current projects - Edible Garden, an intergenerational arts and gardening project, and Spotlight, which provides training and internships for 18-24 year olds not in education, training or employment - will be evaluated by Queen Mary students. The project will provide a bridge for students from their learning on their degree programmes to a real job in community theatre, and employ creative evaluation strategies appropriate to their work for Phakama.