Press release: #cocreatePOETICA ‒ Celebrating the spoken word through collaboration at Open Book Festival 2017

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Following the enormous success of the collaboration between Poetica and #cocreateSA last year, #cocreatePOETICA will once again be part of the seventh Open Book Festival.

The Open Book Festival is hosted by the Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre with events also taking place at the A4 Arts Foundation, District Six Homecoming Centre and Central Library Cape Town. It runs from 6 to 10 September.

#cocreatePOETICA provides a platform for readings, performances and poetical discussions and features a diverse range of poets from established names through to those at the beginnings of their careers.

The aim of the partnership with #cocreateSA and Poetica is to use the art form of RAP and the spoken word to co-create solutions to mutual challenges by providing a platform that voices the concerns of the youth, by the youth.

Last year saw Dutch and South African artists collaborate to create a shared experience and performance pieces on issues pertaining to history, language and culture. In 2017, #cocreatePOETICA takes this further with a three day series of interactions exploring place, language and identity. This will culminate in an event on the programme where those involved can feed back to the public about the process.

#cocreatePOETICA is delighted to welcome Dutch artist, songwriter, actor and director Akwasi back to Cape Town, and privileged to host fellow Dutch poet, performer and actor Dean Bowen, as well as dancer, poet and theatremaker Sjaan Flikweert. All three artists are attending the Festival courtesy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Consulate General in Cape Town and the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

Catch these three artists at events including Journeys With Poetry on Saturday 9 September, sharing experiences of their three day exploration, facilitated by Adrian 'Diff' van Wyk, and on Sunday 10 September, they are in conversation with Siphokazi Jonas about the nature of performance and international audiences.

“With the inaugural run of #cocreatePOETICA last year, we saw how the power of the spoken word can break down language and cultural barriers and unite us in our differences, to celebrate our identity through the art of poetry,” says Dutch Consul-General, Bonnie Horbach. “In particular, poetry provides an outlet for the voice of a younger generation who are often marginalised or misunderstood.”

“Working with #cocreateSA has allowed us to grow what is a vital part of the festival in very exciting ways. #cocreatePoetica is all about meaningful collaboration and exploration.” says Frankie Murrey, Festival Coordinator.

The popular favourites on the programme, that are always a sell-out, include the electric Inzync Sessions closing off the Festival on Sunday 10 September. Grounding Sessions will be owning the stage on Thursday 7 September with featured artists as well as open mic opportunities. The Open Book Poetry Slam with various poets competing for the title this year takes place on Saturday 9 September.

The Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement also join the line up this year, bringing a Naked Word Poetry Session on Friday 8 September. Naked Word is a collaboration of poetry and music, weaving spoken word with dynamically Afro-futuristic sound to produce a uniquely South African poetic and musical experience. In addition, Lingua Franca will present the Magnifying Glass session on 6 September, with featured artist, acclaimed theatre maker Mandla Mbothwe.

A handful of the other highlights include joining Toni Stuart for an hour of poetry translated into film on 9 September, Nick Mulgrew speaking to Rosa Lyster, Koleka Putuma and Francine Simon about their debut poetry collections on 10 September and Siphosethu Phikelela, Lwanda Sindaphi and Athol Williams in conversation with Roché Kester about working to drive social change.

Artists taking part in #cocreatePoetica include: Adrian van Wyk, Akwasi, Ashley Makue, Athol Williams, Christine Coates, Dean Bowen, Francine Simon, Gabeda Baderoon, Genna Gardini, Jolyn Phillips, Katleho Kano Shoro, Kim Windvogel, Koleka Putuma, Liu Waitong, Lwanda Sindaphi, Nik Mulgrew, Pieter Odendaal, Roche Kester, Rosa Lyster, Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese, Siphokazi Jonas, Siphosethu Phikelela, Sjaan Flikweert, Stephen Symons, Toni Stuart, Upile Chisala and Vusumuzi Lovejoy Mpofu.

The 2017 programme is now available at Open Book Festival.

Follow @cocreatePoetica on Twitter.

Tickets to events range from R45 to R100. Day Passes (which provide one access ticket to six events per day) are R150 and Festival Passes (5 Day Passes with one ticket access to six events per day) cost R600. There are also a number of free events but tickets must still be booked for these events to secure a place.

Bookings are through Webtickets

#cocreateSA is a platform for South African and Dutch counterparts to exchange ideas and innovations for a sustainable future. It stimulates collaboration between South Africa and the Netherlands based on the belief that if we work together, we can make a difference and co-create solutions for local challenges. #cocreateSA is an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa, capturing the true essence of modern foreign diplomacy: building relationships, putting the demand at the core of our discussions and focusing on long-term commitments and partnerships.

Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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