(poet, writer, performer, filmmaker)
“He has returned to places
he’s never left,
expecting to find himself there,
though he never is.
The boy is gone.”
– Raven Aflakete
Raven Aflakete was multi-disciplinary artist-poet, writer, performer, filmmaker and arts educator. Originally from San Francisco, California, the Emmy award-winning cinematographer later relocated to Ireland where he carved out a name for himself as a dynamic performer and ardent art enthusiast.
Raven Passed away on the 7th of August 2019 at the age of 54. His untimely death left the Irish poetry community and friends around the world in disbelief. Raven was a lively individual, bursting with creative energy often unmatched by his peers.
His work has appeared in print in the USA and Ireland in different magazines and anthologies. He also fronted the Hip-Hop crew “Mixtapes From The Underground”. In 2014 he published his poetry collection “The living, the Dead and Americans.
“He brought professionalism to his craft in performance on stage, that improved the other performers. I for one learned so much from watching how he didn’t just say the poem, he didn’t just learn the poem off and then recite it from memory and that was that, he let the words enter him, become part of his movement, changed diction, pace and tone to reflect what he was saying. All these tips I got from him, just watching and listening to him.”– Karl Parkinson
As an educator he has taught workshops and courses in poetics, creative writing and filmmaking for even longer; he has worked with children and adults, often with special needs or challenges. He has given private instruction, lectures and taught in diverse settings, in Ireland and abroad – the Junior Certificate School Program (eleven Dublin schools), Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (Dublin), National Institute for Intellectual Disabilities (Trinity College, Dublin), National Council for the Blind in Ireland (Dublin), Creativity Explored (San Francisco), and University of Kwazulu-Natal (Durban, South Africa), amongst others.
Our Founder Duduzile Mabaso interviewed Raven a few years ago. Read the full interview here.
Raven will be remembered for his vibrant spirit and total commitment to creativity. Rest easy brother.