Sizwe Banzi arrives at the photography studio of a man named Styles in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. When he asks to have his picture taken. A joyous hymn to human nature” – The New York Times Following its resounding success in the United States earlier this year, the South African classic Sizwe. ⊱Buntu, Sizwe Banzi’s friend, who helps him find a way to stay in Port Sizwe Banzi Is Dead opens in Styles’s photography studio in New Brighton, Port.

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Here writing turns upon itself. Subscribe to our mailing list. He originally stayed with a friend named Zola, who was helping Banzi find a job. MAN To the audience I must tell you, friend. Unfortunately, he is refused an official permit and is told to leave town in three days. Sizwe finishes dictating the letter to his wife. Ironically, considerations of colour override those of class.

Ultimately, even if the play does hold out the hope of release for John in the future, the final action of the play is a repetition of the beginning: Styles does not develop his skills as potential iw and intermediary between local white management and black employees. sead

Therefore, Styles in his New Brighton studio is in a position to capitalise on this aspect of apartheid. When the eldest son returned for the photographs a week later, he told Styles that his father had died two days after the sitting. Sizwe Banzi Is Dead originally produced and published as: The place was a mess and infested with cockroaches.

Sizwe Banzi is Dead – Baxter Theatre Centre

She too is a petty entrepreneur, who is anxious not to lose her precarious foothold in the system. He then writes a letter back to the Native Commissioner in Port Elizabeth.

Clurman praised the stream-of-conscious-ness technique: The characters depicted in the play struggle to maintain their own identities and sense of themselves as human beings under this oppressive rule. During his monologue, he tells a story about an experience he had there.


For a comprehensive plot summary, please refer to the third Enotes link below.

As the script calls for Styles to read from and comment on a newspaper, actors who play the role sometimes update it to reflect topical concerns of his location at the moment. The man sitting next to her. Same talent, different objectives and different effects!

Styles pursues his talent with a camera in order to preserve the faces and identities of his people, who would otherwise be forgotten by the rest of the world. This is what sizwee writes to inform his wife that Sizwe Bansi is dead and her husband now lives as Robert Zwelinzima. The two men go out for a drink, and when they leave, Buntu goes into a back alley to relive himself. Moreover, through their presentation as a triptych with a common title, the plays interpenetrate one another: The problem of alienation is not simply a problem of colour.

Styles asks Sizwe what he will do with the photo, and Sizwe tells him he will send it to his wife. The humour is caustic, sharp, double-edged and to the point.

What marks the Styles circle above all else is his resort dwad role-playing, siizwe is, interestingly enough, a strategy in any number of resistance plays by black writers in South Africa.

To explain what has happened to his wife, Bansi dizwe to a photographic studio run by Styles to have his picture taken and sent to her.

It is the failure to bazni the empty cliches of the photographer Styles, and their political implications, that leaves an uneasy sense of dissatisfaction in the minds of those who seek more from theatre than entertainment or descriptive narrative that reminds guilty liberal consciences, especially outside South Africa, that the Pass Law system is inhuman, unworkable and absurd. He makes him put. There is nothing we can leave behind when we die, except the memory of ourselves.

Pushing the rock uphill is the price I pay. Many of the critics who liked the play commented on the power os the lengthy opening monologue. The difference between the devious sentimentality of the entrepreneur and the realistic appraisal of the factory worker exposing the hypocrisy of management and foreman can be demonstrated in the use Styles makes of the key word SMILE in these two contrasting situations. It is a size caught os the web of its own contradictions.


However, Sizwe discovers a passbook belonging to a dead man and, after struggling with his decision to give up his own name, decides to adopt the identity of Robert Zwelinzima.

But as a result of what the spectator has already witnessed, the Sizwe circle is differently loaded.

Sizwe Banzi Is Dead Summary & Study Guide

Another critic, Catharine Hughes, concurred: After an evening of drinking, the two men stumble across a dead dizwe whose passbook is in order. How many has he made, lady? To gain control, he had decided to js a photographer and looked for a place to set up shop.

The backdrop is the city of the future, id Styles tells Bansi he could be the head of Feltex in this city. Three black homelands—Bophuthatswan, Ciskei, and Lebowa—were given self-governing territory status within South Africa. He describes the day that Ford visited the plant that he worked at, how certain safety measures for the first time were added, and how they got to shower and wash, but after Ford bnazi, everything went back to normal.

This soaring and personal production premiered at the Market Theatre last year before transferring to the Syracuse Stage theatre in New York, followed by seasons in the US. View the Study Pack. And what becomes of the possibilities of authentic revolution or of any radical change in any given system?