poetry seen: 6th Word N Sound International Youth Poetry Festival

Efemia | September 19th, 2016 | poetry seen | No Comments

Themed ‘Dangerous Minds’, the 6th edition of the Word N Sound International Youth Poetry Festival will showcase a world-class selection of youth voices from South Africa, Kenya and the United States. The week-long festival will take place at the legendary Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg from the 3rd to the 9th of October 2016.

“Give young people a platform and a microphone and words become weapons. Navigating the uncomfortable truth of identity, sexuality, materialism, personal power and neo-liberal politics these young minds dismember the proverbial elephant in the room and lay bare entrails society prefers not to dine on. These are dangerous minds, writing in dangerous times” – Afurakan Thabiso Mohare, festival curator and CEO of the Word N Sound Live Literature Company.


US-based spoken word artist and activist Alysia Harris will headline this year’s edition of ‘Poetry Is’ in the festival with two performances, alongside Kenyan-born Ngwatilo Mawiyoo and Dutch rapper Elten Kiene who complete the list of international artists. A formidable selection of local talent completes the exciting line-up and includes Siphokazi Jonas, Vuyelwa Maluleke, Modise Sekgothe, Mak Manaka and Pakama Mlokoti to name a few.

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The festival will open with the Word N Sound Spoken Word Video Exhibition – a showcase of 60 spoken word videos by various emerging voices from the Word N Sound Poetry League stage. The Barney Simon Theatre will be transformed into a free cinema where patrons can walk in and out throughout the day and enjoy the video exhibition.



Four productions are scheduled as double-bills including “No One Wants A Black Woman With A Mouth” by the BlackGirlPlotting company, Metropolar by Modise Sekgothe, “Black Boi Be” by Xabiso Vili and “Assembling Mutle Mothibe” by Mutle Mothibe.



Audiences will see five poets battle for the prestigious Poetry League Champion title for 2016. After eight months of gruelling monthly slams, five finalists have emerged as the best amongst their peers however there can be only one champion.


Tickets for the festival are available through the Market Theatre website and range from R95 to R200 while workshops, panel discussions and the Poetry Video Festival are FREE.

For full festival lineup, visit www.wordnsound.com and get social with them on Facebook and Twitter

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