Diana Ferrus [Keynote Speaker]

Diana is a writer, poet, performance poet and story-teller. Her work has been published in various collections and some serve as prescribed texts for high school learners.

 

In 2012 Diana received the inaugural Mbokodo Award for poetry.

 

She has published 3 books, “Ons Komvandaan”,   “Ive come to take you home” in 2010,  “Die vrede kom later”was launched on 27 July 2019

 

In  2021 she was involved in the Syabala Publishers project run by Ms Dudu Xaba. In cooperation with Pearson Publishing,  Syabala Publishers ran a weeklong project in which workshops were presented in 11 languages. Diana facilitated the Afrikaans workshops.

The Afrikaans group managed to publish the fruits of their labour, they published the book “Woorde wat vry maak” (Words that free). There are 10 stories of 3000 words by 10 writers.

Diana was also invited to the Ars Poetica festival in Slovakia. She however could not go because of Covid. However her poems were taken up in the festival’s publications.

 

She also participated in Poetry Africa’s outreach to the rural community of Riebeeck-Valley in the Western Cape.

 

Diana works closely with the Railtoun Foundation in Swellendam where she runs workshops as well as the Pniel Museum where she facilitate writing workshops as well.

 

 

Diana is internationally known and acclaimed for the poem that she wrote for the indigenous South African woman Sarah Baartman who was taken away from her country under false pretences and paraded as a sexual freak in Europe. This poem touched the heart of the French Senate and upon hearing it they voted unanimously that her remains should come home. This poem is published in the French Law, a first in French history.

 

Diana’s work has had and still has a bearing and influence on matters of race, sex and reconciliation.