Badilisha Poetry X-Change

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Badilisha Poetry X-Change 2008
Badilisha Poetry X-Change 2009

Badilisha Poetry X-Change is a platform dedicated to showcasing poetry from Africa and the African Diaspora. The project came out of recognising the lack of documentation of African poets, on the African continent and in the rest of the world. Its aims are to fill this void as well as create a comprehensive global archive of Pan-African poets that can accessed internationally. First launched in 2008 as a poetry festival, the Spier Poetry Exchange.[1] by nonprofit organisation Africa Centre in Cape Town, the festival centred on various aspects of developing, celebrating, archiving and documenting poetry and voices.[2] In 2009, the Spier Poetry Exchange changed to the Badilisha Poetry X-Change (taking its name from the kiSwahili expression "Badilisha", which means to change, exchange and transform). Although different in name, Badilisha Poetry X-Change continues the "exchange" between poets, creating spaces and platforms for programmed poetry interventions, workshops and presentations. Its existence continues to provide new and established Pan-African voices a space of celebration, documentation, proliferation, and self-reflection.[3]

Badilisha Poetry X-Change Live[edit]

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Badilisha Poetry X-Change Live is the physical manifestation of Badilisha. Events in the past have included week-long poetry interventions that showcase poets from the African Continent and its Diaspora. Each live intervention has focused on expanding performance poetry beyond entertainment into a medium for social activism, through workshops, seminars and masterclasses. Badilisha Live has had three poetry festivals, each featuring a line-up of poets from Africa and its Diaspora. Past festivals have featured D'bi Young, Kwame Dawes, Anis Mojgani, Ngoma Hill, Aryan Kaganof, Warsan Shire, Lemn Sissay, Emile Jansen, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers and Dorothea Smartt.

In 2010, Badilisha Poetry X-Change expanded beyond its geographical boundaries into the online radio platform Badilisha Poetry Radio. Badilisha Poetry Radio is a poetry podcast platform that is dedicated to poets of Africa and the Diaspora. It showcases a range of voices from across the continent.[4] Many artists are activist that use poetry as their art form.

Badilisha Poetry Radio[edit]

Badilisha Poetry Radio, which launched on 30 April 2010, presents new voices and poetic genres. Currently there are more than 300 poets featured. This is dedicated to podcasting poets from Africa and the Diaspora. Each week the curator uploads poets of diverse styles, genre and topics from different corners of the globe. Poets can submit their work electronically via the website.[5] The podcasts are available on Badilisha Poetry Radio and iTunes and can be downloaded.

Podcast example: Mbali Kgosidintsi


List of poets on Badilisha Poetry:


External links[edit]

  • Badilisha Poetry Exchange [1]
  • Short film [2]
  • Africa Centre [3]