VIDEO: ‘Water’ by Koleka Putuma

We’ve all been waiting with baited breath for the release of the official video for Koleka Putuma’s ‘Water’…and finally it’s out!

Directed by: José Cardoso | Produced by: InZync Poetry | Director of Photography: Allison Claire Hoskins

Koleka posted the video with the following message:

1. On 5 September 2015 ‪#‎WATER‬ is performed at ‪#‎TedxStellenbosch‬

2. Later that day, I reflected on the experience on my blog

3. Weeks after that I receive hate mail in my inboxes, meanwhile I am in Namaqualand, I can’t go up the damn mountain because it’s part of private property. Meanwhile there is a woman named Bridget in the comment section of the #WATER entry telling me that “Black people should be grateful slavery happened because they got a free tour by boat” her Penny Sparrow ancestry bullshit vomit is still there, if you are ever up for diarrhoea

4. A month later TEDxStellenbosch sends me an email politely asking if they could publish my talk but without #WATER

5. With the support of my family at Word N Sound I publish an open letter to TEDxStellenbsoch on the Word N Sound website that basically says: Fuck You…No! But liaaake politely.

6. In the past 10 months the poem has been used in lecture halls/conferences in London/Germany/SA/and countries/cities I cannot even pronounce.

7. Every email that has said: may I use your poem in my lecture, or I was at a conference and someone was using #WATER as a reference, has been healing, has been affirmation, has been life giving in many ways.

8. Censorship is one of the most violent acts that can be inflicted on an artist, and it takes a lot to rehabilitate yourself after such an experience, even if you are liaake the “wokest” or blackgirlmagic-what-what” or whatever. When whiteness tries to insert itself into your work and your ways of navigating the world, that shit takes a lot of fight and energy, and so to the people who have called this poem a love letter and a gift, your words have been a life line. Thank You!

9. A month ago #WATER was published in an Austrian Magazine

10. A few weeks ago #Water wins the Pen Student Writing Prize


11. Today the official Video has gone live. It is a gift. A work in progress even in it’s assumed “final product” state. I am nervous all over again about this work making its way into corners I will never know about.

12. Thank You To the Inzync Team for their labour of love on this production. Thank You Word N Sound (Afurakan T Mohare, Qhakaza Mbali Mthembu) for all your support and friendship throughout my entire journey since the national slam.

13. Adrian Van Wyk You my brother are a treasure.

14. I guess. In fourteen points. I’ve been trying to say it has been quite the journey. I am grateful and overwhelmed. And excited. But most grateful. Thank you to every single person who has tweeted/shared/and reflected this poem back to me. I am deep in the feels of love today. I can feel all of the support from my actual friends/cyber friends and strangers who peep into my mail box now and then. On the real. You keep me going. Enkosini.





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