Marlize Swanepoel

Sp(i)eel Arts Therapies Collective

Cape Town,
South Africa

Marlize Swanepoel is a Dramatherapist and the founding director of sp(i)eel arts therapies collective, an NPO that addresses intergenerational trauma and co-create community-based models of mental health care that are culturally informed and relevant to the South African context. She serves on the Secretariat of the South African National Arts Therapies Association (SANATA) and is a guest lecturer at the University of Cape Town. She is an enthusiastic advocate for the Arts for Health movement in South Africa that speaks to healthcare from a global South perspective. She loves being in spaces of learning, unlearning and dancing.

What does inner wellbeing mean to you?

When I can hear my body’s cues and are able to choose caring for myself as many times as possible.

How would you define wellbeing in one word?


Are there any rituals or practices you use to enhance your wellbeing?

I honour the wisdom of my female cycle, to take note when I need to cocoon or when there are bursts of creative energy and I try to be in play for as much time as possible.

Why is it important that we prioritise individual and collective wellbeing?

If we want to be able to co-regulate, we have to begin with ourselves, to be regulated when we do our work. Lasting change is possible when it comes from a grounded, reflective and thoughtful place, and not as a reactive response.

Do you have any favourite books, podcasts, or articles that you believe support, promote, or educate on wellbeing and related themes? 

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman, Everything by Bayo Akomolafe and the ancient tales and myths.

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