Thursday, November 7, 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS: Maun International Poetry & Literary Festival

Dude…the weather, man but lets not go there. So I was in Maun, a bonafide tourist town yes but real people who have nothing to do with selling the idea that the Okavango Delta happens to be in their backyard also live there so…context.

I live an 8 hour drive or an hour and a half long flight away from Maun but because I know whats awaiting me when I get there I often look forward to the journey, or at the very least the getting there. Come on NASA we know you can beam us wherever we want to go, all those Scottys must have made a plan by now, anyway the Poetavango collective invited 20 odd poets over to participate in their annual, this was the third installment, festival. This year there was a lot more of a literary component with storytelling/reading sessions for children at the local library, a short story writing workshop, a brief history of Botswana poetry in English as well as a book exhibition and a visual arts and poetry collaboration which had artists interpreting poems into paintings/photography etc

We stayed in these lovely but/and rustic chalets for a week

This is NOT my view in the city, I can tell you that much

These two came to say hi at the hotel so I followed them out and then just kept walking

There is drought in Botswana and the cattle are not as robust as one would like

There is life beyond the hotels and performance venues so I went in search of it, then this guy turned up while I was buying ice pops (popsicles) from a derelict garden shop 

The man you can barely see on the stage is named Stiga Sola, a  musical autodidact he can make that guitar make sounds I don't think the manufacturer knows about

Kgosi (Chief) Letsholathebe who welcomed us to his Kgotla and village. By the way his name means shield-carrier which is kind of cool

Some girl in dodgy pants (aka me), Leshie Lovesong, Marcus Elliot, Mista T, Idle or Spoken (he's half of the collabo) & Anthony Stanco standing in a parking lot, pre or post a public jam session 

Anthony Stanco ensemble - mad talented and as flexible as …jazz when it comes to collaborating/jamming with local acts. 

Locally based publisher Nick Green with Poetavango PR Juby Peacock & senior lecturer Barolong Seboni

At some point we rehearsed and wrote and stuff

Yeah so we ate this, someone plucked it fresh out the bottom of the river and we peeled it and split it into chunks. Clearly I'm alive and well as I write this, a week later, so don't be shy if someone offers you water lily root - eat raw or cook with meat.

This is the Thamalakane River (its name means riddle) 

This gentleman has to herd his cattle back to the correct /home side of the river . They swim over  to graze.

Around 1045 on Saturday 02 Nov, we looked up and the sun had a halo so I took a picture. It happened again on Wed 7th round about the same time

We found these wild berries (Moretologa) growing along the river so we ate them

Three boat fools of poets later and we were safely back on shore.
For photographs of poets on stage please visit KALAHARI IMAGES on FB

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