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URBAN VOICES (article first published : 2005-06-21)

Southern African Arts Exchange presents the fifth annual Urban Voices International Festival from July 12 to 30.The festival yet again excels in producing the most original programme South Africa has on offer, keeping up with the high standards it consistently raises.

With groundbreaking Spoken Word artistry, extraordinary theatre works, legendary musical performances and workshops, Urban Voices continues to astound and connect with audiences in the three major cities – Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. This year, the organisation revisits the origins and development of The Spoken Word, Hip-Hop poetry, Interactive Theatre and Jazz/Reggae Music.

Urban Voices – as a sub-regional project aimed at facilitating cultural and educational exchanges within the African Diaspora – warmly joins in these endeavours for a just society where arts and culture will play its true role in promoting a culture of peace and solidarity amongst peoples of the world.

Urban Voices Poetry Festivals’ 2005 will again feature international and South African line-ups and has consistently attracted sold-out shows countrywide since 2001. For the third year, Urban Voices will partner with the Bat Centre to host the Durban events on July 26 at 19h30.

Over the years Urban Voices featured some of Spoken Words’ most outstanding artists, like USA Slam Champions Saul Williams, Staceyann Chin, and Sarah Jones to reggae poet Mutabaruka and dub-king Linton Kwesi Johnson. home brew featured veteran greats like Keorapetse Kgositsile, Bra Don “the bard” Mattera to young talents like Lebo Mashile and Makumele Manaka to name a few. Urban Voices Poetry Festival 2005 will again reach new vistas when its national and international poets reach out for the microphone. The Last Poets and Carl Hancock Rux from the USA will feature the intricate aspects of their artistry of merging poetry with music, for the first time at the Urban Voices Festival.

The Last Poets, who have been in the business for over 30 years, will conduct a workshop titled The Last Poets teaching “the Art of the Spoken Word” with enthusiasts and interested performers on July 26 at the BAT Centre from 15h00 to 16h00. The focus of the workshop will be on the “Art of the Spoken Word” as well as getting to learn more about what makes these legends tick.

More information from the BAT Centre on 031 332 0451.




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