CELEBRATING AFR[WE]KA – Wordnsound press release
31 AFRICAN ARTISTS, 4 SHOWS, 3 CITIES
(INCL BATSWANA POETS: TJ Dema & Leshie lovesong both represented by Botswana based SAUTI Live literature company)
This Africa Month, we breathe new life into the spirit of Ubuntu as the Department of Arts & Culture in partnership with the Word N Sound Live Literature Co. aim to put ‘WE’ in Africa.
INTRODUCING AFR[WE]KA POETRY FESTIVAL 2015!
Scheduled to usher us out of the festivities, the Festival will look to sway swiftly into the swing of Africa Month Celebrations 2015 from: Thursday, 21st May, in Pretoria | Wednesday, 27th May, in Johannesburg | Thursday, 28th May, in Bloemfontein | until the Festival comes to its summit on Sunday, 31st May, in Johannesburg.
The Festival brings together some of South Africa’s most celebrated voices and pairs them with selected voices from the breadth of the SADC Region to sound positive vibrations that will echo throughout Africa. Inspired by the vision of nurturing a new national mindset that employs an intercontinental approach to understanding Africa, its cultures and challenges – the AFR[WE]KA Poetry Festival forms part of the Department’s response to the questions: Who and what is Africa?
By “putting ‘WE’ in Africa”, the festival seeks address these questions by reverberating the theme for this month’s celebrations in an attempt to remind us that, ‘We Are Africa’! It invokes and celebrates the emotive power and influence of the spoken and written word to foster understanding and unity in the continent, while attempting to create a more holistic African identity through collaboration.
Word N Sound CEO and AFR[WE]KA Poetry Festival Director, Thabiso Mohare, could barely contain his excitement at the prospect of this festival saying,
“We were thrilled to hear from the minister’s office. It is inspiring to see the minister rise above the current state of things with such a powerful and positive initiative and Word N Sound is fortunate to be involved in bringing this celebration of African affirmation to life. Honestly we can’t wait for the festival to begin, big-up to the Minister and his office for undertaking such a beautiful project and giving Africans their voices back. We are really excited to be a part of it and look forward to creating a beautiful festival for all of Africa to enjoy!”
In a recent comment regarding Africa Month Celebrations, Minister Mthethwa, shares in Mr. Mohare’s excitement saying,
“We are delighted to field continental celebrations that enable us to ignite and cement the relationships we have with the continent while also reminding us of what it truly means to be African.”
In true Africa Month spirit, the AFR[WE]KA Poetry Festival, by bringing together poets from all walks of Africa, allows for a meaningful dialogue to take place by ‘Opening the doors of learning and culture to promote peace and friendship’. Word N Sound has put together a festival that reinforces intentions to use this period to promote African identity and entrench African values and ethics, while strengthening existing collaborations on the continent. It does so by presenting a unique opportunity to blur the lines and borders that attempt to separate us as a continent, uniting us all under one African Poetry umbrella to drive home the message ‘We Are Africa’.
Not only does the festival focus on the message of unity, it also ties in with the vision of strengthening cultural, socio-economic and political integration among African nations. Furthermore, the festival will create much needed economic opportunities for artists in the field of poetry and help with fostering a culture of appreciation for their craft.
Word N Sound invites you to join the Africa Month celebrations by using the official hashtags #WeAreAfrica and #AfrWEka, to connect and share your message of solidary with fellow Africans.
REMEMBER, ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
The full Festival Schedule and Artist Line-up is available on wordnsound.com
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS SAUTI?
Our boss-lady TJ has been in Cambodia courtesy of a partnership between Sauti and the German/SA based Sylt Foundation. As a consequence and through the generosity of Studio Revolt she was able to film what will hopefully manifest as two spoken word videos. She and SF director Indra Wussouw engaged in a contemporary art tour, sponsored a poetry reading at Java Cafe and engaged with a local photographer who is part of an initiative hosting year long workshops that culminate in a professionally curated exhibition at one of the best spaces in the city. They were invited to a private screening of an inspirational spoken word/deportation/life after prison documentary ‘Cambodian Son’ and met with some key players in Phnom Penh to see what possibilities could be explored culturally at the very least between Botswana, Cambodia, South Africa and Germany.