Taiwo sits comfortably smiling at the camera. Creating a very opening and friendly atmosphere, Taiwo looks at ease and is dressed comfortably in a grey v-nck sweater with a blue shirt underneath.

Taiwo Afolabi

Mentor, Music Alive

Taiwo Afolabi is an artist-researcher-educator who researches, creates works, performs, and teaches at the intersection of performance and human ecology. Notably, he does this through devised and participatory theatre and socially-engaged creative practices with diverse communities. He has worked in over fifteen countries across four continents.

In 2020, he completed his PhD in applied theatre from the University of Victoria, Canada. Before this; he graduated with a MA from the University of Ilorin (The Performing Arts) and BA and Diploma from the University of Jos, Nigeria (Theatre Arts). His research interests include creative practice, participatory theatre, applied theatre/theatre for development, research ethics, global health, theatre for social change, forced migration, climate justice and indigenous studies. Within these research areas, he has co-edited one book (Lexington 2020) and published over fifteen refereed articles in journals such as Research in Drama Education, Applied Theatre Research, African Performance Review etc., and over seven book chapters. He has also presented his work at conferences.

​He is also: Research Associate, Department of Sociology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa; Research Affiliate, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, London; Research Affiliate, African Research Group/Kaldor Centre’s Emerging Scholars Network, University of New South Wales, Australia; Fellow at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, Canada; Co-president, the Network of Emerging Artist Professional, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s International Theatre Institute (ITI), Executive Committee Member,  International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR); Director and Co-initiator of Onion Theatre Project, Canada. He served as a member of the Human Research Ethics Board, University of Victoria, and editorial board member, West Africa Theatre and Performing Arts Journal and board member of Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

​He has developed arts-based projects and taught on an array of social issues among diverse cultures to engender safe and positive spaces for courageous conversation, collaboration, and collective social action. His practice-as-research and community engagement projects have focused on themes such as education, refugee, migration, displacement, climate change, inclusion and diversity etc. in China, Ireland, Burkina Faso, Denmark, Nigeria, Spain, Iran, Croatia and Sudan. He is the founding artistic director of Theatre Emissary International and the current Executive Director of TEMi, a cultural centre that utilizes arts to educate, conscientize and create positive social change in society.

His work has garnered numerous supports in the form of grants, fellowships and scholarship. For instance, the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, the European Union Centre for Excellence Grant, Andrew W. Mellon/Queen College Grant, Anne McLaughlin Graduate Scholarship in Applied Theatre, British Columbia Arts Council’s Arts-based community development project grant, fellowship at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria. He was awarded Jim Rye Fellow at the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY), a research fellow with the Border in Globalization Project at the University of Victoria and he is currently a fellow at The Lab, Georgetown University, the United States.

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