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BADEROON SCOOPS DAIMLERCHRYSLER (article first published : 2004-11-7)

Gabeba Baderoon has scooped the DaimlerChrysler Award for Poetry. In their judging, the jury panel was looking for an original South African voice with a clear understanding of the structural properties of poetry, an awareness of the rules and the breaking of the rules and an honest treatment of content.

The panel included the notable Prof Andries Oliphant from the University of South Africa, Ms Tembeka Mbobo of Soweto, Prof Joan Hambidge of the University of Cape Town, Dr Wally Serote, Raks Seakgoa and Astrid Sebb from DaimlerChrysler AG in Germany. The jury panel asserted that Gabeba Baderoon shows respect for the poetic tradition, writes with precision and uses striking metaphors.

“She is an original voice that finds the poetic in the ordinary with a fine sense of locality and space. She weaves political and social issues into her poetry without sloganeering. Her work tackles a wide range of themes, astutely shifting the focus from the outside to the inside,” said chairperson, Prof Joan Hambidge, on behalf of the panel.

Gabeba Baderoon is an internationally published poet whose work has appeared New Contrast, Carapace, Illuminations, Feminist Studies and Matter. She studied with the distinguished American poet Robin Becker and the Forward Prize winning British poet and playwright, Sean O’Brien. Her poem After Revolutions won the Philadelphia City Paper Writing Contest in 1999. The Art of Leaving was selected for The Best of MA Writing 2002-2003 at Sheffield Hallam University.

As a media scholar, she has written on representations of Islam, on ‘race’ and on art. In 1998 she was a member of the assessing panel of the Thomas Pringle Awards for Journalism. She has been invited to present lectures in South Africa, Europe and the United States. She has held fellowships at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town, also Pennsylvania State University, and was a member of the Inaugural Oxford Muntada, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in 2003.

Gabeba Baderoon receives a handsome R30,000 cash prize. Furthermore she will undertake a presentation tour of South Africa; be a key cultural contributor at the South Africa Day in Germany in May 2005 and be given the opportunity to further present her work overseas. DaimlerChrysler will also publish a special anthology of her poetry.

The DaimlerChrysler Arts Award sponsors a different discipline of the arts every year. Over the past five years, it has recognised artists within the fields of contemporary art, jazz, sculpture, choreography and creative photography. This year the award in the genre of Poetry was supported by an illustrious selection panel which included the likes of Prof André P. Brink, Dr Alfred Schaffer, Prof Bhekizizwe Peterson, Durban-based Prof Michael Chapman, Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, Raks Seakgoa, Indra Wussow and Robert Berold.

The award offers support to talented and innovative artists from South Africa and helps raise the profile of these artists at national and international level with winners invited to present their bodies of work overseas.

More information from Annelise van der Laan, Manager: Communications - DaimlerChrysler South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Corporate Affairs Division, P O Box 1717, Pretoria, 0001. Phone 012 677 1903, fax 012 677 1682 or 082 8207546 or e-mail: annelise.vdlaan@daimlerchrysler.com or visit www.daimlerchrysler.co.za




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