Poetry Africa is touring to Johannesburg

This October, UJ Arts & Culture looks forward to hosting the Johannesburg tour of the Poetry Africa International Festival.

Presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the 26th Poetry Africa International Festival will offer a 3-day Johannesburg programme from 6 to 8 October in collaboration with UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg.

“UJ Arts & Culture is thrilled to be partnering with the Centre for Creative Arts in bringing an aspect of the 26-year-old Poetry Africa to Johannesburg. With poetry being one of the most popular opportunities the division offers students through the UJ Arts Academy, this will no doubt be the highlight of their 2022 poetry experience as well for the broader poetry loving community in Gauteng,” says Pieter Jacobs, Head of UJ Arts & Culture. “This collaboration is one of several projects UJ Arts & Culture and the Centre for Creative Arts have presented since 2020. Among these were virtual and physical jazz events and concerts, online competitions, dialogues, and workshops. Our partnership with the Centre for Creative Arts demonstrates that careful alignment and collaboration enable us to serve our communities better than what would otherwise have been possible,” he adds.

The festival opens on 6 October with ‘What’s a Woman’s Worth’, featuring Philippa Ye De Villers, Lebo Mashile, Roche Kester, Vangile Gantsho, Nomashenge and Belita Andre. This first-of-its-kind focus on women by women performance is a cross-generational probing and response to the value placed on women prior to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and, in South Africa, the Bill of Rights in 1996 where women were considered to be less than (hu)man, having only partial or no access to (hu)man rights.

The show will take place at the Keorapetse Kgositsile Theatre, Kingsway Campus at 19:00. Tickets go for R30 for students and pensioners and R50 for general admission.

On the 7 October the 20th iteration of the Slam Poetry Competition will be staged for the first time outside of Durban. A highlight of every Poetry Africa Festival, the Slam Poetry Competition is described as a “dynamic and fast-moving,” battle, poet against poet and against the clock. “Slam poetry combines poetic excellence, spontaneity and competitive sharpness.” Ten semi-finalists, selected from a country-wide call will compete in front of an international panel of judges for one of five coveted spots in the final, which will be held in Durban on the 15th of October. The winner will walk away with an accumulative price of R22 000 and an international trip to participate in the World Slam Competition 2023. The Slam Poetry Competition is set to take place on the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway Campus, in the Keorapetse Kgositsile Theatre at the UJ Arts Centre, admission is free.

On 8 October, South African poets Thando Fuze, Siphokazi Jonas, Xabiso Vili, Sabelo Soko and Modise Segkothe and Mana Bugallo from Argentina and Lydol from Cameroon will experiment with ‘Tilting the Scales’ of poetic forms toward abstracted and experimental dimensions”. The audience can expect an evening of defiant poetry in its content and presentation. The show will take place at the Bunting Theatre on the University’s Bunting Road Campus at 19:00. Tickets are priced R30 for students and pensioners and R50 for general admission.

Tickets can be purchased at TicketPro via this link: www.ticketpros.co.za.


About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts. For more information, please visit arts.uj.ac.za.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA (www.uj.ac.za/fada) offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.

About the Centre for Creative Arts

The Centre for the Creative Arts (CCA) is an inter-disciplinary hub in the School of the Arts in the College of Humanities at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. The Centre plays host to seven festivals which over many years have built a strong international profile for artistic excellence and for how the arts are engaged to advance social change and to strengthen South Africa’s constitutional democracy. For more information, please visit https://cca.ukzn.ac.za/.