It was the opportunity to partner on the first ever national slam championship in South Africa, with a company that is at the forefront of innovative live literature work amongst young people. Having SFYL at the National Arts Festival also allowed for further growth of a spoken word network into Grahamstown; connecting the Johannesburg-based Word N Sound to NAF and Grahamstown.
What was your impression of the first SFYL finale last year at the National Arts Festival?
SFYL was a real standout at the festival last year, bringing a large amount of energy to the closing day. With finalists from across Gauteng, KZN, Eastern Cape and the Western Cape there was a real sense of competition and support around spoken word both in the room and online. It was really special to see that spoken word can fill a room to capacity, with both a young audience and young performers.
You’ve partnered with WNS on a number of amazing projects. What has been the highlight for BC? Which projects are you most proud of having supported?
We are really proud to have partnered with The Word N Sound Live Literature Company on projects that have continued develop connections between South African based spoken word organisations and innovative UK talent and live literature practitioners. For example, when Tongue Fu – one of London’s liveliest and best attended spoken word nights, with live literature, music, film and improvisation – was in SA they were able to connect with Word N Sound in Johannesburg, InZync in Stellenbosch and Poetica in Cape Town.
What can we expect from the rest of the SA-UK Seasons?
There are loads of exciting projects coming up.
The one’s I think your audience may be most interested in are:
1) The Chimurenga Library – The Showroom Gallery, London: 30 September – 31 October. Chimurenga will present various strands of their work in a new installation at The Showroom, which will include their publishing work and parts of their library, as well as new research of theirs, with a particular focus on their ongoing research on the 2nd World Festival of Black African Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77).
2) On Mass – The Roundhouse, London: November, where young musicians from the Roundhouse Music Collective, in collaboration with young musicians from four partner organisations (internationally) will be invited to work collaboratively with contemporary composers, David Coulter and Jamie Cullum, to devise a new work to be premiered in November. The focus of the performance will be one of ‘mass music making’ that puts collaboration, creativity and experimentation at the forefront of the work.
So definitely lots still taking place as part of the SA-UK Seasons!