Brandon Douglas + Laquesha Barnes
South Africa Tour

In September 2016, Hear My Voice in partnership with Jonathan B Tucker hosted Washington DC poets and teaching artists Brandon Douglas and Laquesha Barnes in Gauteng and Nelspruit, South Africa.

The exchange took place in Tshwane and Johannesburg and the itinerary included:

  • Banana Bread Show performance at the Tshwane Arts Hub
  • Poetry workshop at Current State Of Poetry, Joburg Theatre
  • Performance Showcase at Word n Sound
  • Poetry Reading at the Jozi Book Fair
  • Hosted Poetry on the Rocks event at The Goodluck Bar, Johannesburg
  • Attended Steve Biko Annual Lecture ft Angela Davis
  • Hosted Poetry Workshop at Tshwane University of Technology, Nelspruit Campus
  • Toured God's Window and surrounding sites in Nelspruit
  • Performance and workshop at the American Corner, Eskia Mphahlele Library
  • Mentored Incubates at the South African State Theatre for their incubator programme
  • Hosted Tshwane Speak Out Loud 2015 knockout event
  • Led poetry Workshop and performance at The University of Johannesburg BuntingĀ road and Doornfontein libraries
  • Feature performance at the Tshwane Arts Hub
  • Led poetry workshop at the Eesterust Library Hall
  • Led poetry workshop at Pioneer Academy, Ormonde Campus

This exchange was made possible through funding by the DC Commision on the Arts and Humanities

Thank you to all our partners:

  • The South State Theatre
  • The American Corner
  • Thabang Mashile
  • Flex of He&I
  • Word n Sound
  • Pioneer Academy
  • Flex of He&I
  • Pioneer Academies
  • Current State Of Poetry


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Brandon Douglas

Brandon Douglas is a product of the land known as Washington, DC. He began writing when he was 12, after discovering his ability to write raps. Through his teenage years poetry and hip-hop became one in his mind and soul as tools of self-expression. Since then he has been on the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team, opened for the late Gil Scott Heron, and performed at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival, the Woolly Mammoth Theater, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Split This Rock Poetry Festival, the Phillips Collection, as well as the South African State Theatre. A poet, rapper, teacher, and actor, Brandon has been a production team member with City at Peace DC for 4 years, using theatre arts to teach cross cultural dialogue and nonviolent conflict resolution. He facilitates writing, performance, and social justice workshops, and is a teaching artist organizing and coaching high school poetry clubs in DC with nonprofit org Split This Rock. With his artistry he works to guide others toward positivity, encouraging them to strive to be whole. He is constantly working to grow as an artist as well as a person, and he details this journey through spoken word in an honest way so that others may be moved to do the same.

Laquesha Barnes

Laquesha is young lovely lady of many talents and gifts from Washington, DC. She is an actress, poet, writer, and teaching artist. She has performed in many places including THEARC, The Phillips Collection, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theater, and Atlas Performing Arts Center. She also has collaborated with organizations such as the DC Youth Slam Team, Hi Arts (known for the Hip-Hop Theatre Festival), and City at Peace DC. In between her shows, she is a trained facilitator. Her workshops range from poetry to youth development to theater to all the above combined. Laquesha creatively uses her art to entertain, educate, inspire and spread awareness of the issues that young people face today.