Sunday, April 21, 2013

Amnesty International ArtsFest

Here's a video clip, of my poetry recital from the 2011 Amnesty International (Wits) Annual ArtsFest. The poem is called, Medusa. It remains one of my favourite poems, and I am very proud of the places its gone to, and the people it has revealed itself to. I suppose one focal aspect of poetry, is to do what a novel does, without all the chapters and tedious descriptions that span over 300 or so pages sometimes. Medusa is a metaphorical poem, aimed at the advent of the 'Corrective Rape' phenomena that unfolded egregiously in South Africa, first when the Banyana Banyana star was brutally slain for celebrating her sexuality, then the headlining murders of several other young, predominantly black lesbians in the country. The Caster Semanya debacle had just scratched open wounds, that many gender-rights activists had long feared would cause the fabric of society to disintegrate hysterically and unsparingly. The phenomena was interlinked with an assumption, or a misconception rather, by some black men and homophobic citizens, that raping a lesbian woman would cause her to come to the egress of her "newfound heterosexuality." In the poem, Medusa (a Goddess of the ancient greek times who was sent to live in the 'Hades' away from her privilege) is an allegorical figure of modern day torture, who is subjugated and compelled to accept a life of solitude, whilst simultaneously dealing with the fact that she had been defiled through the desecration of her body- she had been raped...corrective-ly.

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