press release: In Memory of the beautiful Land

Poetry Potion | June 21st, 2013 | poetry seen | No Comments

Exhibition/Installations, Symposium and Reggae Concert in Commemoration of the centenary of 1913 Land Act

The Green Office, supported by the Drill Hall, Sounds of Edutainment(SoE) and Zotha Production, presents exhibition/ installation, symposium and a reggae concert to commemorate the centenary of the 1913 Land Act, passed on 19thJune was a law of the white government that apportioned 7,3% of land for the Natives and 82.7% for the boers and British Settlers. It also prohibited the natives from buying Land especially outside the Bantu reserves, which were basically scattered tiny barren pieces of Land. Land Hunger and imposition of paul tax forced the Natives to flock to the cities to provide cheap labour.

Themed In Memory of the beautiful Land, an Exhibition of Soil, Plants, Words and Leaves opened on the 8th of June lasting till 30 June. These are public works of sculptors made by Menzi Mbonambi out of plants and trees. They focus on the issue of space and occupation, and the possibilities that the land can provide. Words are an expression of past, present and the future writers and poets who wrote on the issue of Land. The exhibition provides a tour around the Green Office where the young and old are educated about what happened in 1913, and how drill Hall is Part of this history. We also have school tours from 10am during the week where children become part of this exhibition.

A published and recorded percussionist and poet of note, Zolani Prince Shapiro Tyalimpi exhibits on a giant colour wall poster a chapter, Am I Not Black Enough, a treatise on Afrophobia that turns locals on African nationals in the villages and townships, extracted from his up-coming collection of poems and essays titled Until Night Falls. He also made use of futon base as a surface for brilliant messages of words printed artistically. He is part of both SoE and Green Office.

Themed Counter Centenary of 1913 Land Act: Culmination/Continuation Of Land Dispossession, a free symposium will take place in the Point Blank Gallery at the Drill Hall, located at glass walled Point Blank Gallery opposite MTN Nord taxi Rank across Twist Street. It will be a platform for activists and artists to reason together about the land question and its resolution in favour of the rightful owners of the Land. It is public knowledge that the best seller best buyer policy maintains and deepens poverty for Black people, as well as retains and enriches white privileged minority. Chaired by Zeer Nehanda Black Power of Blackwash, the panel shall feature: Aviwe Chimurenga Tyumre Poqo aka Ras Menelik Azania of ANKH Foundation, Vusi Oldman Mahlangu of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania(PAC), Trevor Ngwane of Socialist Group, Obrey Tshabalala from Tshabalala Foundation and Adam John Knight. Acoustic and spoken word performances will be delivered by Dollar I, Menzi, Prince Shapiro, Ras Zwesh Fi Kush, Benjie, Seka Maleka.

The last event shall be an overnight poetry/music concert dubbed The Return of Dancehall To The Drill Hall also at The Point Blank gallery. On 29th June from 7pm till 5am. Poets, musicians and selectors/DJ’s shall edutain. They are: Kush, Fikile Zwane, Siza Nkosi, Princess Azania, Pinky Buthelezi, Muzzla Menelik, Ras Malloney and the MC shall be Bongolution, the former presenter of Reggae Fire on Radio2000. On sale shall be vegetarian meals and non-alcoholic drinks. The entrance is a donation of R20 and warm clothes/blankets for the landless and homeless in the Jozi inner city.

Contact Menzi Mbonambi at 076 624 4523 [email protected] for more information.

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