Press Release – 09 July 2019

Press Release

Immediate Release

Released by the wRite associates – 09 July 2019 

The Miriam Tlali Reading and Book Club Celebrates Natalia Molebatsi, a South African writer, performance poet and cultural worker.

Taking place on the 20th July 2019, at the wRite associates offices, 74 Mimosa Road, Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg, the discussion will focus on the book “Elephant Woman Song”, the book is an artistic encounter between two women, visual artist Tiziana Pers and poet Natalia Molebatsi.

Pers’ work of environmental justice and Molebatsi’s work of ancestral reverence converge into a common space where the intersections between words and paintings, culture and nature, as well as ancestry and origin, give birth to Elephant Woman Song. For Molebatsi and Pers this book also manifests a poetic and visual deconstruction of colonialism, speciesism and other forms of violence against animals, women, human beings and ecosystems.

“The poems use the paintings as inspiration to honour my Grandmother who revered the elephant and praised the elephant as her people before had done. The poems are born from genetic memory and experience and invoke a narrative that aims to provoke conversation around preservation – on nature, of culture and ancestry.” Says Molebatsi.

When she was a teenager, Molebatsi realised that she had a voice she could use to speak out against patriarchy and colonialism. Today, Molebatsi is a renowned writer performance poet, and a pan-African cultural worker who has had the honour of performing alongside the likes of Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o, one of the highlights of her career.

Molebatsi has performed poetry and facilitated creative writing workshops internationally, including at universities and festivals in Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Zimbabwe, England, Italy, Azerbaijan, Argentina, Palestine and Germany.

Award-winning playwright, actress, musician and guitarist, Director of the wRite associates and convener of the Miriam Tlali Reading and Book Club, Gogo Sindiswa Seakhoa, will facilitate the book reading and discussion.

The Miriam Tlali Reading and Book Club, established in 2009, is a legacy programme under the South African Literary Awards (SALA), managed and co-ordinated by the wRite associates. The programme aims to celebrate and honour the life, times and the contribution of Miriam Tlali, a prolific woman who has written extensively and has made history by being the first South African black woman writer to publish a novel in English.

Attendance is free but confirmation of attendance is compulsory.

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