2017 Torsten “Clear” Rybka

Torsten Tebogo Rybka, on stage is known as Clear. He is a lyricist, photographer, producer, mentor, and poet born in Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa and raised by his parents and siblings.

Since 2007 he has been part of and a leader in many art movements and poetry societies in the City of Tshwane, South Africa. In 2014, he started a poetry movement known as “U R WHAT U SPIT” with the aim to make social change through the medium of spoken word poetry and music.

In 2013 he released an EP consisting of 7 tracks (4 hip-hop tracks and 3 spoken word poems). That EP gave him a break through to perform on stages such as “The Night of the Poets” at the South African State Theatre, Department of Arts and Culture events, and other poetry movements in and around Tshwane. A year later he released a single spoken word track “Walk a mile in my shoes,” and in the following year released the hip-hop single “Why I Write.”

In 2016 Clear produced, directed, and performed in  a feature-length poetry production titled “Speaking from Experience (Growth)” at the South African State Theatre, with accompaniment by a jazz band and four vocalists, as part of the poetry incubator program at the South African State Theatre. He is a rising star of Tshwane’s spoken word scene and in 2017 traveled to the United States for the first time to perform in and tour Washington, DC.


Clear’s DC Tour


April 18-30, 2017

Tues. April 18, 2017
8:40am (EST) Clear’s flight landed at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). After dropping bags and relaxing a bit, he was ready to go out and explore the capital city of the United States. It started with a poetry salon with the Folger Shakespeare Library Foundation.

poetry salon with Jane Hirshfield

Poetry salon with Jane Hirshfield

At the poetry salon with the Folger Shakespeare Library Foundation he met special guest Jane Hirshfield.

Clear and Jane Hirshfield posing for a picture. she is seated and he is leaning on the arm of the seat with his arm around her.

Clear and Jane Hirshfield

Poetry Salon with the Folger Shakespeare Library featuring Jane Hirshfield

~~~

Later that night he performed as the featured poet at the Busboys and Poets 14th & V Street Open Mic.

Busboys and Poets is a community gathering place. First established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was created by owner Anas “Andy” Shallal, an Iraqi-American artist, activist and restaurateur. After opening the flagship location at 14th and V Streets, NW (Washington, DC), the neighboring residents and the progressive community embraced Busboys, especially activists opposed to the Iraq War. Busboys and Poets is now located in six distinctive neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan area and is a community resource for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers.

The name Busboys and Poets refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in the 1920s, prior to gaining recognition as a poet. *from http://www.busboysandpoets.com 

Open Mic at Busboys and Poets 14th & V
2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC

Clear with Droopy the Broke Baller at Busboys and Poets

Clear with open mic host Droopy the Broke Baller at Busboys and Poets

 

 

Clear featuring on stage in the Langston Room at Busboys and Poets

Clear featuring on stage in the Langston Room at Busboys and Poets

Weds. April 19

Wednesday Verses Open Mic with band at Old Engine 12 on North Capitol St NW

Clear performing at Weds Verses

Clear performing at Weds Verses

Check out more about the amazing Verses shows and family at https://everythingverses.com/

Thurs. April 20
Tourist in DC

US Capitol dome

US National Botanic Gardens

US National Botanic Gardens

National Museum of the American Indian

Clear at the National Museum of the American Indian

8:30-11pm The Legendary Spit Dat Open Mic (Spotlight 10mins)

Emergence Community Arts Collective, 733 Euclid St NW

Clear with Dwayne B. co-host of the Legendary Spit Dat Open Mic

Clear with Dwayne B. co-host of the Legendary Spit Dat Open Mic

Fri. April 21
DAY-TRIP TO NEW YORK CITY

Times Square

Sat. April 22

3:00pm Attended “A Human Being Died That Night” play
http://www.mosaictheater.org/human
Mosaic Theatre Company
Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lang Theatre
1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC

4:30pm Clear spoke on the panel at the Peace Cafe – Panel Conversation and Performance

Sun. April 23

Malcolm X Park Drum Circle

Malcolm X Park Drum Circle

Malcolm X Park Drum Circle

Mon. April 24
School visit to Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Leading poetry workshop at Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Leading poetry workshop at Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Tues. April 25

Visit Ms. Jamila Neferta Thompson’s primary school class

Clear with Benjamin Orr Elementary School Students

Ms. Thompson's Class Hopes and Dreams

Ms. Thompson’s Class Hopes and Dreams

Spotlight Artist at Beltway Poetry Slam Finals

Busboys and Poets Brookland
Monroe St NE, Brookland, Washington, DC

Clear with Elizabeth Acevedo

Clear with Elizabeth Acevedo

Robalu Sketches Clear

Robalu Sketches Clear

Weds. April 26

Visited Howard University with Goldie Patrick

Clear on the yard at HU

Clear on the yard at HU

Howard University with Goldie Patrick

Howard University with Goldie Patrick

Africans Rising discussion at Howard University

Africans Rising discussion at Howard University

 

 

 

 

Performed at Africans Rising event at Howard University

Clear with Emira Woods

Clear with Emira Woods

Africans Rising is a de-centralized movement that seeks to build unity and solidarity among, and advance the struggles of, the Peoples of Africa and its diaspora. #AfricansRising

Thurs. April 27

Unlikely Allies: Art as a Catalyst for Social Movements
Impact Hub DC
419 7th Street, NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20004
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unlikely-allies-art-as-a-catalyst-for-social-movements-season-finale-tickets-31522163640

Spotlight Artist @ Busboys and Poets Hyattsville Open Mic
Busboys and Poets Hyattsville, 5051 Baltimore Ave, Hyattsville, MD

Clear at Busboys and Poets Hyattsville

Clear at Busboys and Poets Hyattsville

Fri. April 28

Sat. April 29

FREEDOM DAY BRAAI WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY!!!
Savage Park, 8200 Fair St, Savage, MD 20763

Clear with Miss South Africa, USA

Sun. April 30
A long flight home after a great tour.