Department of Politics and International Studies

Tiare Kioko Sonnen

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Key information

BA International Relations, MSc Politics of Africa
Thesis title
Do You See Me? A Comparison Between South African and Zimbabwean ‘Coloured’ Representation and Reception in Theatre
Internal Supervisors
Professor Stephen Chan, OBE


Coming from a mixed background herself, Tiare is driven to learn more about the cultural nuances and societal structures that perpetuate the interconnected and fluid nature of identities and their representation. As an undergraduate student in the 'BA International Relations at SOAS, her interest in Africa's diversity and intersectional identities became a major focal point in her studies - tying together the political thought of the region as well as the socio-economic dynamics of these post-independent states.

Continuing onto the 'MSc Politics of Africa' course, her focus was narrowed to gendered and ethnic representation, the politics of belonging especially within South Africa's historically interracial, or 'Coloured', community. Tiare's time at SOAS throughout her academic career as well as her own experiences and personal interests in the use of theatre as a tool for creating, developing, and preserving identities and their stories, has merged multiple points of intrigue into an exciting project. By analysing the artistic voices that uphold and depict these stories it is possible to understand how communities understand themselves and others, creating opportunities for improving cross-cultural relations and supporting marginalised groups.

Research interests

'Coloured' representation within Southern Africa - Evolving traditional art forms (Orality) - Resistance in theatre - Political/social impacts of subaltern voices -  Navigating the borders and 'legitimacy' of interracial identities