An initial exploration of sexual identity among adolescent orphan females using process drama techniques: a case study of orphans living at Sparrow Rainbow Village

Sani-Chimwele, Alinafe
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This research conducts an analysis of Process Drama as a tool towards exploring sexual identity among adolescent orphan girls in relation to the spread of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Using Process Drama, an educational method that conceptually and practically employs elements of drama to educate and to deepen the participant’s quality of experience, this research explored how through engaging with issues of identity, a mature understanding of sexuality can be encouraged among adolescent girls which may help to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS The study was also an attempt to deconstruct societal constructions of girls’ sexuality that leave out their sexual subjectivity, stressing the importance in defining strong identities among orphans as a way of encouraging their individuality and power in relationships. The research provided a platform through which adolescent orphan girls could face their own emotions and feelings, and those of others and try to identify and understand the root causes in the spread of HIV/AIDS. It was discovered that orphan hood impacts emotionally, financially and socially on the individual, such that it is important for there to be regular drama workshops in orphanages as a way of addressing adversity, loss and pain. Drama is empowering. Through the unique process of enactment, its diversity of form stimulates creativity and imagination, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfillment. It provides opportunities for investigation and reflection, for celebration and challenge. It is a potent means of collaboration and communication which can change the ways people feel, think and behave. By its combination of the affective and the effective, it sharpens perception, enables personal expression and the growth of intellectual and emotional literacy. It provides a framework for the exploration of ideas and feelings and the making of meaning.
M.A. University of The Witwatersrand, Faculty of Humanities (Applied Drama), 2012