Poetry Africa Digital Map

The Poetry Africa Digital Map is an interactive database of the poets who have performed at Poetry Africa Festival since its inception in 1997, and the funders and partners who have made this unparalleled showcase of artistry possible. Through a deep dive into the catalogues that were produced for each festival, as well as the partially digitized poetry performance recordings, we were able to aggregate biographic, audio-visual and geographic data to map and re-present the expanse of the festival, over space and time. For UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts, this serves as a useful tool for reflecting on where the festival has been, and the spaces and sources of support it could potentially extend itself to. For you, the explorers of this site, we offer the opportunity to revisit the back stories, faces and performances of the featured poets, as well as the institutions, collectives and individuals that have shaped the Poetry Africa Festival into what it is today

The Poetry African Digital Map allows you to navigate the database in the following ways:

Click on Map Pins: Poets, funders and partners have been plotted on the map according to their country and city location. By clicking and scrolling on a location, you can see how many poets, funders and partners have come from there, and select the profile that you would like to dig deeper into. The poets’ map will lead you to biographies, archival profile photos and performances (where available), and the funders & partner’s map will lead you to the respective websites.

Filter by Date: You can search the database according to a single year or multiple years at once, to see who was involved in Poetry Africa each year, or over a set period of time. Use the top filter, or pin icons below. 

Search by Name: You can search through the featured poets, funders and partners by typing in their name.

Search by location: You can search through the database according to the poets’ or funders’ location, to see who came from where. For example, try searching “New York”. 

Browse the List: A list of all/selected/filtered or searched items will be displayed in a list below the map. Select any of these to find more info. 

This phase of the project was funded by The National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences. This is an ongoing project, and living archive, and we welcome any assistance with the digitization of the performance recordings, to improve the robustness of this offering.

Concept: Dr. Ismail Mahomed & Ms. Siphindile Hlongwa
Lead Researcher: Ms. Karen Ijumba
Digital Platform Design & Development: Mr. Steve Jones (New Noise)
Data Capturers: Ms. Sinazo ‘Momo’ Gamedala & Mr. Sizwe Hlophe

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