Monday, August 23, 2010


     I'm left inspired and humbled. Today I had the immense pleasure of getting to lead a workshop with 5 of the poets from the regional slam that I saw my first day in Jo'burg. It was really fun to just talk with the group of poets about what the scene is like in South Africa, and hear about what their processes are like.
     Then, we got into it. We focused mainly on performance. All of the elements that a spoken word poet communicates that aren't words; tone, body language, use of the space.
We read the writing on doritos bags as if they were love poems, a noodles bag as if it was a break up poem, and a toothpaste container as if it was about revolution. So funny, and really cool to watch the group really go for it.
     At the end though, to bring everything back to the sex/sexuality/HIV theme of the festival, the group created a powerful group piece about their own experiences with HIV and sexual education. I wanted to video, but made the disclaimer that if anyone was uncomfortable at all, I wouldn't. One person was, and I kept my promise. It was not a choice, especially after the group opened up and went on the ride for the workshop with me. I owe them such big thanks. I had a great time working with them, and I hope they did too.

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