Grant #534

Ukuzila – Lament

May 15, 2023

Mourning and Connecting on Indigenous Land

How do you mark and mourn something that’s in the process of being desecrated? In Cape Town, South Africa, women lead their communities in ancient lamentation rituals. These performances offer a path toward processing historical violence against women and indigenous lands and exploring the relationship between the destruction of our natural world and the exploitation of the people who live on it.

Now Professors Micha Espinosa and Sara Matchett, renowned voice experts, will collaborate with South African performers to stage rituals on the sacred land where the Liesbeek and Black Rivers meet. It’s there that Amazon is planning to build its $284 million African headquarters, despite the havoc that all that demolition and construction will wreak on the wildlife that calls the area home and the significance that the land has to the Khoi and San, First Nations people of South Africa. Professors Espinosa and Matchett plan to film their event with Director of Photography Janaki Cedanna. The film will include interviews with activists and artists. Our grant will provide them with funds to rent sound and camera equipment, go-pros, and unit gear to allow them to complete an immersive production. We are honored to help them bear witness.

Category: Art, Civic Engagement, Community, Culture, Environment, Nature, Performance, Women



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders