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  • Writer's pictureThuthukani "TK" Ndlovu

Giving Poetry Wings 3 is open

// A virtual exhibition featuring work produced by poets and digital artists, as part of the Virtual National Arts Festival (Creativate Digital Ats Festival) //

“If Poetry can walk while leaving inked footprints on blank pages,

Run through open and closed mics that lead to speakers and eardrums,

Dance and slam with bodies on stages and screens,

Then nothing should stop us from

Giving Poetry Wings to fly through extended realities.”

Wassup wassup fam. We finally managed to launch the 3rd edition of Giving Poetry Wings , and we can't wait for you to experience this virtual exhibition. It's been a crazy journey with a lot of ups and downs, but we finally made it. A big shout out to all the artists involved in creating the amazing work. It's always an honour working with such talented artists, and I must state that this year, we had our most competitive pool of applications compared to the previous 2 years. It was really difficult to choose 10, because if we had it our way, we would have chosen at least 16 artists. Anyway, a big thanks goes to the Curat10n for developing the exhibition and the National Arts Festival (Lauren and the Creativate team) for their continued support.

Giving Poetry Wings (GPW) is an initiative of The Radioactive Blog. This year, it turned into a virtual exhibition featuring collaborative work by 10 African artists – from South Africa and Malawi – who were selected to participate in a 5-day online workshop (from 12 June to 17 June 2020). The group of artists consists of dope poets and digital artists, who developed AR digital artworks and ambisonic poems based on a variety of themes. Each video compliments a digital artwork, and in order to get the full experience of the exhibition, visitors are advised to only enter the exhibition while wearing earphones/ headphones. The exhibition also provides answers to a few frequently asked questions around Extended Reality (XR). While you navigate through the exhibition, listening to the ambisonic melodies of Andrei Kwenda’s mbira, we hope that the overall experience leaves you craving for more similar content. Don’t forget to share this experience with friends. This exhibition was officially launched on the 27th of June 2020.

The following artists featured in the GPW 3 exhibition: Toni Giselle Stuart (SA), Afurakan (SA), Athi Musoke (SA), Riaz Ragooloo (SA), Calysto Mnyanga (MW), Tshepang Jiane (SA), Samuel Gillham (SA), Angela Mthembu (SA), Belita Andre (SA), Robert Chiwamba (MW) and Andrei Kwenda. We also featured the top 5 artworks from GPW 2 by Legh le Roux (SA), Dananayi Muwanigwa (ZW) and Keneilwe Kwanaite (SA). I was the coordinator and curator for this exhibition, and this is the curatorial statement which you can also find on the exhibition site:

"Poetry is a powerful communication tool, and therefore it should not be limited to only being shared and received in traditional spaces and mediums. Even during a pandemic, poetry can still be given wings to fly and not only reach its fanatics, but also reach unconventional audiences. On this note, the 3rd edition of Giving Poetry Wings finds itself in a virtual room , in a virtual world.

It’s fascinating what can be created when the synergy between creatives is given room for expression. What’s more fascinating is how digital artworks can be developed into (Augmented Reality) videos, how spoken word can be converted into ambisonic poems, and how these videos and poems can correlate with each other. While you navigate through this exhibition, listening to the melodies from Andrei Kwenda’s mbira, we hope that the unique experiences offered by each artwork leave you craving for more."

With all this being said, there are 3 ways that you can access the exhibition / view the artworks that are part of the exhibition:Option 1, by "Downloading the exhibition onto their computer" (This provides the best quality experience); Option 2, by "Visiting the exhibition via the online stream" (Suitable if you have a strong bandwidth); and Option 3, by "Watching the videos via Curat10n page + Video Tutorial". All these options are available here (or you can click on any of the above images in this article).

These are some of the screenshots from the exhibition. Please don't forget to give feedback on the artworks that I've seen. The online streaming link for the exhibition will only be open for the duration of the Virtual National Arts Festival, so do make sure you check it out before then (however I would advise downloading the exhibition so that you can check it out whenever you want with internet. We hope to hear from you, and lets connect on social media @2tukani (Twitter and Instagram).


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