Building bridges using spoken word as a medium
Award winning Dutch poets welcomed at fourth edition of #cocreatePOETICA

CAPE TOWN (2 September 2019). Dutch and South African (SA) poets and spoken word artists use words to build bridges at the fourth edition of #cocreatePOETICA at the Open Book Festival. This year, the programme will welcome award-winning Dutch poets Radna Fabias and Simone Atangana Bekono, who will join SA poets in workshops, performances and themed discussions between 4 - 8 September 2019. 

#cocreatePOETICA is a collaboration between Open Book Festival’s poetica element and #cocreateSANL, national campaign of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in SA. The partnership provides a platform to foster cultural exchange between The Netherlands and SA in light of its shared cultural heritage, and activities within this space. The Dutch missions in SA are dedicated to focusing on cultural interventions that support open dialogue by using different forms of art to address challenges around identity and transformation. 

Simone Atangana Bekono

Radna Fabias 

“Collaborations are key to the success of Open Book Festival and ongoing relationships such as the one with #cocreateSANL speak to that. The value of the contribution of the Dutch poets who join us both in discussions and performances are immense and we are excited to see Simone Atangana Bekono and Radna Fabias exchange poetry and ideas with the South African poets who are part of the events,” said Frankie Murrey, Open Book Festival Coordinator. 

“It has been an exciting and enthralling experience partnering with the Open Book Festival poetica element for the past 3 years. We have seen the festival grow in terms of the calibre and quality of spoken word artists attending the festival as well as the growth in terms of a young and diverse audience engaging in the genre. This year we are excited to bring fresh and vibrant female Dutch poets to collaborate with the South Africans and trust that they will take back as much value as they will bring at this year’s iteration, said Claude van Wyk, Senior Policy Advisor for Cultural Affairs at the Netherlands Consulate General in Cape Town. 

“I can't wait to hear and see all the great and creative minds South Africa has to offer, meet all the Open Book artists, feel the country's history and experience the connection,” stated Simone Atangana Bekono.

Radna Fabias said, "The last time I was in South Africa I left enamoured, sad, overwhelmed, furious, confused and weirdly nurtured. I guess I'm ready for another round of devastation and awe?"

“We have seen poets come to South Africa to exchange ideas, find synergies to engage one another and actually find themselves as they realise that although they come from very different and distant locations, the intricacies that they find with one another are so similar. I wish this year’s Open Book Festival and #cocreatePOETICA the best of luck and urge Cape Town, specifically the urban youth, to come out and attend as it’s quite exciting, and an opportune moment to network and meet the up-and-coming movers and shakers,” concluded van Wyk. 

In addition to the #cocreatePOETICA activities, South African and Dutch artists will also be part of a three day Journey of Poetry where they will attend writing workshops and explore a different spaces. This year’s Journey of Poetry will be joined by: Radna Fabias, Mutle Mothibe, Simone Atangana Bekono, Afeefa Omar, Allison-Claire Hoskins, Pieter Odendaal, Mbongeni Nomkonwana, Phelisa Sikwata, Faye Kabali-Kagwa, Raphael D'Abdon and Mackenzie Berry. 


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