| Urban Voices International Arts Festival 2009
Urban Voices International Arts Festival 2009 promises again to deliver the most original, diverse and cutting edge spoken word for the South African aficionados of the arts. “As always, the Southern African Arts Exchange has scouted far and wide across the world, searching for the most talented and relevant poets for the South African audiences”, says Roshnie Moonsammy, executive director and founder of Urban Voices and its mother body the Southern African Arts Exchange (SAAE). The Urban Voices Poetry Festival takes place in three cities, Joburg, Cape Town and Durban.
This year’s festival will feature dance, song and performance poetry eclectically influenced from Ghana, USA, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and South Africa. “Urban Voices 2009 continues with our programmes of mutual learning with Africans in the Diaspora talking with artists and people in South Africa. This is particularly important as we prepare for global events such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and others which present opportunities for people to connect, to enjoy and work together to building solidarity through culture and the arts for a just world and a vibrant and democratic Africa” said Moonsammy.
Urban Voices 2009
Talented young and emerging South African poets from the three cities will show their mettle on stage and proudly display the diversity that has become synonymous with our country’s image.
Staceyann Chin (Asian/Jamaican) will no doubt be a big draw card this year. She performed at Urban Voices in 2003 to sold out audiences in all three cities. Staceyann Chin has been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998 andreturns to our shores with her vibrant poetry that always push boundaries and challenge social norms through her work on sexuality, gender justice and against homophobia.
Chin will be sharing the stage with Ghanaian poet/singer and storyteller Abena Koomson;Willie Perdomo (USA/Puerto Rican) is an accomplished academic with a style that merges Hip-hop and Shakespeare; bringing a unique performance structure to the stage is the talented dancer, choreographer, poet, educator and community worker, Marc Bamuthi Joseph.
The Urban Voices International Arts Festival is a programme of the SAAE, and has been running since 2001 when it hosted amongst others, Tony Award winning poet/actor Sarah Jones and various other award winning poets, theatre performers and musicians. In addition, Urban Voices has since brought various national and international greats to grace the Urban Voices stage, and these included artists such as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Saul Williams, The Last Poets, Mutabaruka, Jean “Binta” Breeze, Dr. Don Materra, Staceyann Chin, Prof Willie Kgotsisile, Lebo Mashile and Mak Manaka.
Workshopping our past and future
“As with every annual Urban Voices programme, the workshops are an integral part of our learning and sharing as artists meet with aspirant writers and enthusiasts – in a free, secure and open learning space,” said Moonsammy. Master class on performance/movement, lectures on poetry will be held in prisons, schools and at some select cultural community venues.
The Poetry Festival will take place from 22 July to the 28 July, in cities Jo’burg, Cape Town and Durban.
Poetry Performances: Tickets at Computicket/Door
Saturday 25 th July @ Bassline, Newtown, Joburg at 8pm: R150
Sunday 26 th July @ The Baxter Theatre, Cape Town at 8pm: R150
Tuesday 28 th @ The Bat Centre, Durban at 7.30pm: R110
Poetry Workshops and Lectures- Free Entrance – Please check www.artsexchange.co.za for more information on workshops or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Bookings: Computicket/the Door
Media enquiries only: 011 726 6916/0823443798
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