Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Travelling Light to reach South Africa

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World renowned British poet, musician and facilitator, Zena Edwards in partnership with the British Council in South Africa, are bringing Zena’s Travelling Light production to Johannesburg on 15 March 2012, and Cape Town on 16 and 17 March 2012.
Travelling Light is a creative piece of poetic story-telling by Zena linking three generations of women, through a gripping autobiographical account of a touching mother/daughter relationship.
As a part of the British Council’s art programme, Zena will engage South African audiences through poetry, story-telling and, will also share knowledge and skills with aspiring South African poets.
Poets such as Mbali Vilakazi and Naima McLean, both established South African poets, will have the opportunity to engage, share and collaborate with Zena as an expansion of her knowledge sharing experience.
The show, which Zena describes as a docu-poem, recounts Zena’s moving autobiographical story and explores the paradoxes that haunt and challenge gender definition and role playing in society.
Using poetry, visuals, song, movement and blogging to interact with and challenge the audience through a time warp of evolution in womanhood, the production touches on various themes including domestic violence, love relationships, sex, race and the dreams and aspirations of a young woman through some of the most challenging eras of modern womanhood.
The event is expected to attract many-a-poet enthusiasts including local poets, musicians, journalists, creative industry leaders and members of the public.
Zena’s visit forms part of the British Council arts team’s efforts to work with the best of British creative talent to develop innovative, high-quality events and collaborations that link thousands of artists and cultural institutions around the world, drawing them into a closer relationship with the UK.
During her stay in South Africa, Zena will also spend some time in Cape Town conducting workshops and rehearsals in preparation for her Travelling Light performances in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Travelling Light is not the first project that Zena and the British Council have partnered on; she previously came to South Africa in 2010 to participate in the Verbalized project, which showcased the best of young and emerging UK and South African poets, a project in which renowned South African poet Gcina Mhlophe was involved in.
Johannesburg audiences can expect to be enthralled by Zena’s Travelling Light show on Thursday 15 March at Space.com at the Joburg theatre at 18:30. While Cape Town enthusiasts will enjoy Travelling Light on 16 and 17 March at New Africa Theatre.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sell the Children

Sorry, how old....?

A group of people came together one week day morning. They work for an advertising company and they need to land a client so they need a-one-in-a-million pitch. They have to sell a perfume product for a company called "Love Cosmetics". Now, whatever the design team, the copy team and the casting team were ultimately thinking is that to win this pitch they needed to make the campaign for this product something the consumers (who have been targeted using focus groups and market research) will 'buy into'.
That morning they came up with this. Image and text approved. By who?

Please excuse me if you know all this but I'm thinking out loud trying to process what I see every time I look at this advert for a 'women's' fragrance.
What result were they aiming for -  did they actually have solid aims and a strategy when they thought this up - when they juxtaposed innocence and sexiness to sell a scent to 'advertise' a contemporary woman's life style. And what did they EXPECT us to 'think' when they did?
Vogue 2011
Teddy bears, mascara and lipstick... and whatever that look is in this little girls eye, the copy translates it into coy seduction. The strategy behind the construction of this whole ad  is a paradox of negligent genius.

The above ad campaign is dated around 1974. It seems the hyper-sexualization of  girls was not a dialogue engaged with much at that time. But it also make me wonder how far the culture of sexualizing young girls has come when we see media and advertising companies pushing campaigns that promote clothes and underwear for children which are mere mini versions of those for grown women. It make we wonder whether the fashion and media industries feel they have some kind of immunity, suffer from a self-instigated obliviousness or a gamblers wrecklessness to continue with this form of selling of children practice while the debates around this disturbing issue rages.

This video analyzes the disturbing  hypersexualization of young girls as young as 5 years old. Watch and make up your own mind...

"Sophie Bissonnette's documentary, 'Sexy Inc. - Our Children Under the Influence',  analyzes the hypersexualization of our environment and its noxious effects on young people. Psychologists, teachers and school nurses criticize the unhealthy culture surrounding our children, where marketing and advertising are targeting younger and younger audiences and bombarding them with sexual and sexist images. Sexy Inc. suggests various ways of countering hypersexualization and the eroticization of childhood and invites us to rally against this worrying phenomenon."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Travelling Light is on the move...

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Its Monday 5th March and I'm "packing" for Holland and Cape Town where I'll be sharing the next phase of development of Travelling Light.   Packing!!! I have to say its not my favourite task on my to do list, but that is the irony - I'm learning to Travel Light.

Quote from the show - "Helpful tip - if you pack for a holiday, your first pack is like a writers first draft. Go back, take out a third of the 'stuff', minimum! Then you'll be about right."

As it'll be International Womens Day on the Friday 8th March, I'll be exploring womanhood manifested in poetic writing and performance along with Zulile Blinker, another powerful Sister writer and performer, and Sis DJ Wonder (also a dynamic and sensuous writer and poet) .  I'm expecting an incredible weekend of vibes and feminine creativity.

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