Dance / Graeme College

After being associated closely with the Donald Trump US presidency, the concept of fake news has, in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, become highly pertinent again, with misinformation, conspiracy theories and science denialism running rampant across social media as well as more traditional media forms. The Fake N.E.W.S framework focuses on the contemporary South African socio-political and cultural context, aiming to process these aspects of media politics as well as incorporating a critique of the emergent predominance of virtual presence that has characterised the new pandemic normal. An overhead camera and projection translates seemingly chaotic on-stage contortions into a mediated world with its own absurd physics, mirroring how media and information technologies create and package a seductive world of sense from the chaos of everyday life. The machinations of propaganda are playfully deconstructed with physical performance veering into animation. The digital technology is exposed as an integral performative component. Lines are blurred between body and screen, reality and mediated image. The power dynamic between live body and screen image is complicated by projection on the body, where the image is literally carried by and contained in the body.

Fake N.E.W.S has been re-conceptualised and developed for specific contexts, including with professional dancers in Bonn (2019), with staff and students at the Wits School of Arts (2022), with physical performers from university and community backgrounds at UCT (2023) and with students at Rhodes University as part of the National Arts Festival (2023).


Fake N.E.W.S
by Nelisiwe Xaba and Mocke J van Veuren

Choreographer / Director: Nelisiwe Xaba
Video Artist / Director: Mocke J van Veuren


Mocke Jansen van Veuren is an educator, filmmaker and researcher born and working in Johannesburg. He is currently developing a PhD study focusing on community-based digital film education pedagogies. His artistic work includes video, sound and dance collaborations with choreographer and performer Nelisiwe Xaba. Their work “Uncles & Angels” was awarded the FNB Art Prize in 2013, and Fake N.E.W.S has been developed as a collaborative education and performance platform with iterations in Bonn, Germany, Wits University, Constitution Hill, and Cape Town’s Centre for the Creative Arts between 2019 and 2023. Van Veuren currently works as a lecturer and deputy Head of Department at the Wits Department of Film and Television, and consults for KZN Film Commission in the development of their post-graduate training programmes, as well as developing community based film education programmes in Kliptown as part of the Beehive Culture Worx collective.

Nelisiwe Xaba is a South-African choreographer and performer based in Johannesburg. Her body of work is politically driven and challenges stereotypes of the black female body and cultural notions of gender mainstreams. She collaborates with artists in and outside of her medium, most notably, with fashion designer Carlo Gibson of Strangelove, choreographer Kettly Noel, film director Mocke J van Veuren, Swiss choreographer Marie-Caroline Hominal. Xaba has started InfluenZart, a live art, video and sound installation platform that first showcased at Carfax, in September 2022. Her most recent works include Bang Bang Wo, a solo performance that interrogates the politics of “help”; Hominal/Xaba, with the Swiss dancer/choreographer Marie-Caroline Hominal; and Fake N.E.W.S with Mocke J van Veuren, a dance project that employs live video projection to engage young students of movement, film and multimedia from academic and non-academic institutions.

  • Venue: Graeme College
  • City: Makhanda
  • Location: Graeme College, Templeton Dr, Grahamstown, Makhanda, 6140
  • Ticket Price: R85.00
  • Programme Type: CURATED PROGRAMME
  • Genre: Dance
  • Duration: 45 mins
  • Ages: ALL AGES
June 27, 2023   18:00 - 18:45
June 28, 2023   10:00 - 10:45
June 28, 2023   14:00 - 14:45