Notes from the Field

Dirty Work: An Ecocritical Reflection on Human Feces as a Tool of Protest and Performance

Author: Gibson Alessandro Cima (Northern Illinois University)

  • Dirty Work: An Ecocritical Reflection on Human Feces as a Tool of Protest and Performance

    Notes from the Field

    Dirty Work: An Ecocritical Reflection on Human Feces as a Tool of Protest and Performance

    Author:

Abstract

On March 9, 2015, Chumani Maxwele, a University of Cape Town political science student, hurled the contents of a portable toilet at a statue of British mining magnate and white supremacist Cecil Rhodes. At nearly a decade’s remove, Maxwele’s controversial act reverberates. Though often portrayed as the rash gesture of a dispossessed Black youth, the event was a meticulously stage-managed piece of ecocriticism. Yet his catalytic act is virtually absent from academic discussions of the #RhodesMustFall movement. The erasure of Maxwele’s radical protest raises important questions about who can create ecocriticism, who can perform, and what it means when a Black activist uses human excrement and disgust as the medium for protest.

Keywords: #RhodesMustFall, Chumani Maxwele, Ecocriticism, Performance Art, Protest, South African Performance

How to Cite:

Cima, G. A., (2024) “Dirty Work: An Ecocritical Reflection on Human Feces as a Tool of Protest and Performance”, the Black Theatre Review 2(2), 48-51. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/tbtr.6021

Downloads:
Download PDF

49 Views

12 Downloads

Published on
26 Mar 2024
Peer Reviewed