Breaths of Joburg hits the street of Jozi

Breaths of Joburg is a theatre work for young audiences produced by UJ Arts & Culture and the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS). Created by the acclaimed Jade Bowers (director), Lebo Mashile and Tina Redman (performers) and Yogin Sullaphen (musician), Breaths of Joburg uses poetry, movement, spoken word, storytelling, music and play to explore the joys and difficulties of Johannesburg in all its complexity.

The work is staged site-specifically outside the Windybrow Arts Centre and is inspired by three original pieces of short form creative writing by Zandile Dube, Lerato Mahlangu and Teneal Naidoo, the winners of the Set in Joburg writing competition run by UJ Arts & Culture and JIAS at the end of 2022. Breaths of Joburg is part of a larger public art as research project, a collaborative endeavour between UJ Arts & Culture, JIAS and Malmö University, Sweden, with Alex Halligey as lead researcher for UJ in collaboration with Anders Høg-Hansen for Malmö University.

The project considers creative writing and site-specific theatre as tools for engaging urban publics in dialogue about experiences of everyday, ground-up place-making in city spaces. In keeping with the University of Johannesburg and Malmö University’s promotion of internationalisation, Breaths of Joburg, and the broader research project it is part of, is invested in connecting the human, micro moments specific to the city of Joburg to both universities’ global networks of students, scholars, artists, art-lovers and civil society activists.

You will be able to experience Breaths of Joburg live outside the Windybrow Arts Centre at 14:00 on the 20, 21 and 22 April or over Zoom as well as through various online engagements before, during and after the performances in the form of videos and live streams posted through social media and online meeting platforms.

The work is crafted for audiences of 10 to 16 years old, but with a broad appeal to all age groups.

UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA ( offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.