After sold out performances at National Arts Festival, Frantz Fanon’s The Drowning Eye bring revolutionary love to Joburg 

The South African debut of Frantz Fanon’s love play, The Drowning Eye comes to Joburg 

Frantz Fanon’s play invites audiences to reignite their belief in the possibility of love 

Frantz Fanon’s play explores the edge between love, shadow and violence

Revolutionary Love is a new artistic project that looks at love and revolution in all their intertwining. Its first artistic ventures, a production of Frantz Fanon’s play, ‘The Drowning Eye’, premiered to critical acclaim and full houses at this year’s National Arts Festival (NAF) in Makhanda and will now open at The Ramolao Makhene Theatre in Johannesburg on October 7, 2022.

Written in 1949, when the young Martiniquan author was just 24 and a student in Paris, ‘The Drowning Eye’ is part love poem, part surrealist narrative, part philosophical treatise, and a powerful testimony to the power and possibilities of love as an act of resistance.

This contemporary reimagining of the text, sets the play in the aftermath of revolution and entangles fiction and poetry with Fanon’s biography to explore the edge between love, shadow and violence. Tamara Guhrs and Stacy Hardy join forces with KwaSha Theatre Company, the Market Theatre Lab and Windybrow Arts Centre, with music by Tumi Mogorosi, to present this work at a time when Fanon’s writing has new relevance for a generation of young South Africans questioning the limits and possibilities of revolution today.

‘The Drowning Eye’ is performed in the midst of an exhibition which combines archival material with poetic lines of flight and philosophical questions, and features voice by Lesego Rampolokeng, as well as film and music to explore revolutionary love in all its guises – revolutionary manifestations of love, love as a revolutionary force and the historic role of love and lovers within liberation movements (from Frantz and Josie Fanon to Che Guevara and Aleida March Torre, Winnie and Nelson Mandela, Miriam Makeba and Stokely Carmichael, and many more.)

For audiences unfamiliar with Fanon’s work, the play and accompanying exhibition serve as a potent introduction to the life and work of one of the most important anti-colonial thinkers. For readers of Fanon it’s an opportunity to engage the complex interplay between poetry, psychology, philosophy, and political theory that came to define his oeuvre. For lovers it’s an invitation to reignite their passion at a time when love is too often caught between consumer culture, popularist narcissism and casual sexual encounters.

As Nkgopoleng Moloi wrote in her review of the production at NAF, “the play reads as a surrealist offering whose goal is to free language, thought and human experience from despotic boundaries of rationalism. Here is Fanon, endlessly (re)creating himself. “

Directed by Tamara Guhrs, The Drowning Eye features performances by the Market Theatre Foundation’s dynamic youth theatre company, KwaSha! This company has, in the last five years, become an important platform in Joburg’s cultural landscape, where up-and-coming performers receive a year-long contract, the opportunity to work with various directors and an artistic home at the Windybrow Arts Centre. This year’s iteration – “KwaSha the 5th” is made up of Moagi Kai, Mongezi Ntukwana, Mncedisi Hadebe, Nonhlanhla Sidiki and Sivuyise Kibido. With dramaturgy by Stacy Hardy and Kaushik Sunder Rajan, and design by Megan Miller, the production promises a visual, emotional and thought-provoking journey into what ‘love in all its forms’ can mean for us today.  It is made possible with the support of the National Arts Festival (NAF), French Institute South Africa (IFAS), Bolloré and Mazarz, with research facilitated by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture & Society, at the University of Chicago.


Conceptualised                                 Stacy Hardy and Tamara Guhrs

Directed                                             Tamara Guhrs

Performed by KwaSha Theatre Company in association with the Market Theatre Laboratory and the Windybrow Arts Centre, IFAS, Mazars, Bolloré

Performers: Moagi Kai, Mongezi Ntukwana, Mncedisi Hadebe, Nonhlanhla Sidiki, Sivuyise Kibido.


Music and sound design:                Tumi Mogorosi

Featuring                                           Lesego Rampolokeng as “The Voice”

Stage Manager                                  Tshepo Matlala

Performance:                                     6 October 2022 – 23 October 2022

Previews:                                           6 October Preview @ 7pm

Season Dates & times                      Tuesday – Saturday 19h00 and Sunday 15h00

Tickets: R100

Student Price: R70

To make block bookings and discounts please contact Anthony Ezeoke 011 832 1641ext 203/ 083 246 4950 or Bandile Luvalo 078 4344 860

For further information, interviews and images, contact:

Lusanda Zokufa 072 367 7867 or and Desmond Mathebula 062 329 4741 or