Sweden South Africa Poetry Exchange 2018

Hear My Voice will host acclaimed Swedish poets Henry Bowers, Olivia Bergdahl and Amer Sarsour from the 19th - 28th February 2018 in Tshwane and Johannesburg as part of the Sweden and South Africa Poetry Exchange. The poets will take part in various activities over 10 days which include feature performances, workshops, master classes, open mics and jam sessions in Tshwane and Johannesburg. This is the first phase of the Exchange, the second phase will take place in September 2018 whereby a group of South African poets will travel to Sweden to partake in similar activities and feature at the Ordsprak - Uppsala International Poetry Festival.

The full itinerary will be made available shortly. In the interim, join our mailing list and keep in touch with the project on social media via @HearMyVoiceSA and @SpeakOutLoudSA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

The Sweden and South Africa Poetry Exchange is organized by Hear My Voice in partnership with the Ordsprak - Uppsala International Poetry Festival and is made possible by the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria through funding from the Swedish Institute and the Swedish Arts Council. Additional support is provided by the The City of Tshwane and Tshwane Speak Out Loud Youth Poetry Competition and Festival

Swedish Participants

Henry Bowers

Henry Bowers is one of Europe's leading slam-poets. He is also nationally known and acclaimed as one of Sweden's best hip-hop acts. Henry Bowers is also known as Kung Henry, which is the name used when the lyrics are in Swedish. Henry's poetry and music is reflecting society as well as his person with a huge spark in the eye and a lot of irony. It's intelligent, sharp and to the point. In an effective way he breaks down the wall between high culture and mass culture as he takes influences from and refers to everything from horror films and children's stories to classic masterpieces and great philosophers, everything combined with a dose of humour.

2008 - Participating in the International Poetry Slam in Bolzano, Italy, ending up at 2nd place. 2007 - Guest Poet at the BBC National Slam in Brighton, UK. 2006 - Winner of The Four Continent Slam-tour in Great Britain. This is a contest where eight of the world's foremost slam-poets from four different continents tour the UK for 14 days, and one winner is appointed.

Olivia Bergdahl

Olivia Bergdahl is a Swedish spoken word-poet and novelist. At the age of 28, the former Swedish Slam Champion has spent 15 years on stage and released both a poetry collection and a record, lectured in creative writing and received national acclaim thanks to her debut novel “After the Echo”. Awards from Swedish Radio, appearances at the Royal Theatre and continuous tours through Sweden, Europe and the US - proves Olivia as one of the most experienced and extraordinary, Nordic performers of live poetry today.

Amer Sarsour

Amer Sarsour is a Swedish-Palestinian poet whose work is often written in the Swedish language.
He has been performing spoken word on some of Sweden's most influential and prestiges stages the past seven years.
His poetry is often political and deals with matters concerning existentialism. He currently lives in his hometown Uppsala and is a student of the art of discourse, Rhetoric.