Singing My Mother's Song will result in a poetry collection written by me, illustrated by Anna Higgie and published by Burning Eye Books in 2019. In 2018, Jim Demuth will film dancers Yana Fay and Nyaniso Dzedze in South Africa, so to create a collection of short dance films to accompany some of my written work.
Jim and I have been friends since we were seventeen, we worked in a coffee shop together and would look for mischief in everything. He is real symbol of magic in my life. A directer and editor based in London, who has been awarded the Webby Award Winner 2016 and Young Director Award – Second Prize 2014. He has worked with Channel Four, The BBC, Diesel, Vice, Dazed, Vodophone, Canal+ and on Series: Startup Nations – Holy Land · Random Acts · The Sublime · Future Of Fashion · Future Cities: Shenzhen · Beats: Craig David x Jack Garratt · Squarepusher – Rayc Fire 2 · Zayn Malik – Out of the Woods · Django Django – WOR · Aokigahara Suicide Forest · Music Nation – to name a few.
Anna has illustrated my last two collections and I love being in collaboration with her. The first time we worked together she would read every single poem and short story in such detail and create responsively in a way that felt it enhanced everything I wanted to say that language couldn't quite reach. Anna is an Australian born illustrator now living and working in Bristol, England. She spends most of her time in her Stokes Croft studio where she uses a combination of traditional and digital techniques to create her illustrations. After studying Painting and Fine Art at the National Art School in Sydney, Australia, Anna went on to study Illustration and Typography in London. She has worked with many clients in the UK and abroad including the Guardian, the Financial Times, Penguin Books, Random House, the New York Magazine, Planet Mu Records, GQ Japan, the National Institute of Fashion Italy, Ace Hotel Shoreditch, and has been a featured artist in Taschen’s Illustration Now! and Fashion Illustration Now! series
Sometimes Yana and I are asked if we are sisters. And I think in some other reality we definitely were. I often see myself in her. Yana moves with such intensity and focus, it really is hypnotic. She draws from various techniques, exploring her body as a contemporary dancer. She now performs, teaches, choreographs and travels frequently between the UK and South Africa. As a choreographer / director, Yana debuted her first full-length works with Vela Souls’ production ONE. ONE headlined the Drama For Life’s South African Theatre Season program at WITS University. Yana’s dance performances include: (Un)Bridalled - Johannesburg. All female cast, choreographed by Marina Maghales | Oasis Studio Show: Love Raqs - featured and choreographed | Show Me - Creative film and live performance funded by The Roundhouse Online Film Fund. Collaboration with Poet Stephanie Turner. Yana is currently deepening her understanding of the connection between her own movement, emotional clearing and camera work, collaborating with various artists to create new live performances.
I remember showing Nyaniso a photograph of my mum and grandfather and him being like 'SAY WHAT...my land is a big part of yours.' He is a magnet, a graceful and powerful dancer and he will act/dance in the live piece created to accompany the published work. He will be part of the creative team developing the cross platform experience, choreographing movement in response to the developed themes of the work. AMAA Award nominated actor Nyaniso is best know as a dancer for playing the lead, Muzi in South Africa’s first dance feature film Hear Me Move. He powerfully marries fluidity and strength in his movement. Nyaniso was introduced to contemporary dance at Wits University, Johannesburg. Since his tertiary studies he has traveled various countries and performed on stages around the world as a dancer for artists including French choreographer Yann Lheureux, Gregory Maqoma and James Ngcobo. He also spent a year performing and training with Dance Company 'Forgotten Angle Theater Collaborative' and headlined as both an actor and dancer in Vela Souls’ production ONE.
Toni Stuart is a South African poet, performer and spoken word educator, who works both locally and internationally. She performed at the Paris Autumn Festival as part of France South Africa Seasons 2012/2013, and in 2014, was part of the Scottish Poetry Library’s Commonwealth Poets United exchange. Her work has been published in anthologies, journals and non-fiction books in South Africa and internationally. In 2013, she was named in the Mail and Guardian’s list of 200 inspiring Young South Africans for her work in co-founding I Am Somebody! – an NGO that uses storytelling and youth development to build integrated communities. In 2014/2015 she was a Chevening Scholar in the UK where she graduated with an MA Writer/Teacher (Distinction) from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Malika Ndlovu is a South African poet who has performed her work across the globe. With a background in both theatre and arts management Ndlovu is a prolific creative facilitator, working with numerous visual artists, culture organizations, heritage institutions and NGOs, tirelessly promoting the written and spoken word. Her projects include the Cape Town women writer’s collective WEAVE, And The World Was Women Ensemble of female performance poets, and The Mothertongue theatre project, which exists to promote the wellbeing of women and the young through art. These endeavours embody her belief that ‘creativity is medicine to us all – whether we access this to produce great art for the public or to heal and grow ourselves, to honour our humanity.