Azania to DC International Arts Exchange
Bringing poets and artists across the world to perform, share, create, connect, and learn from each other’s capital city arts and culture.
From Pretoria to DC to Addis Ababa, we are creating outstanding arts, culture, education, and travel experiences for the poets and visual artists awarded this unique opportunity.
In 2020, we are bringing three poets from Pretoria, City of Tshwane, South Africa, to tour Washington, DC for their first visit to the United States. From 15 – 27 April 2020, Sibongile Fisher, Hope Netshivhambe, and Masai Sepuru will share their creative writing, performance, and teaching skills with DC audiences. On 28 April 2020, they will fly home to South Africa with DC poets/actors/emcees Dwayne Lawson-Brown and Drew Anderson, as well as Azania to DC director Jonathan B. Tucker. Dwayne and Drew will tour the City of Tshwane, South Africa from 29 April – 12 May 2020. The tours are organized and directed by JBT in partnership with Hear My Voice, Busboys and Poets, and sponsored by the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities.
HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM
Since 2013 international artist exchange programs between Washington, DC, USA and the City of Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa have become annual celebrations of each Sister Cities International partners’ growing arts and culture sectors. JBT organizes these exchange tours for promising artists from each city to receive travel and technical experience in their field, mostly poetry writing and performance. As a Teaching Artist I make sure every exchange tour involves school visits and workshops with young people so that the artists are constantly giving back and learning from the community they are visiting.
This page is a look back on each of those programs, bringing South African poets to tour DC, and taking DC poets to tour the City of Tshwane, South Africa. We call it “Azania to DC” because southern Africa was known as Azania before colonization and much work around decolonization in both SA and DC still needs to be done. Our young artists are continuing that social justice work and advocacy using art and community organizing. These programs are made possible in part by funding from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities.
2019 BUSISIWE MAHLANGU & MOAFRIKA ‘A MOKGATHI
2019 RASHEED COPELAND
2018 MODISE SEKGOTHE
2018 XABISO VILI
SOUTHEAST TO SOUTH AFRICA