SE_SA Poetry & Visual Arts Connect: Secrets of Cities

Poets Modise Sekgothe and Linn Björnsdotter  come together with visual artists Matías Ruiz-Tagle and Jotam Schoeman for one of a kind collaboration for Nobel Week Dialogue

5th December 2021 | Blog Admin | Media release

Hear My Voice is delighted to announce the co-curation of Secrets of Cities alongside Hedda Krausz Sjögren, principal curator, for one of a kind collaboration between poets and visual artists from South Africa and Sweden. The project is part of the Nobel Dialogue Week in Gothenburg, Sweden organised by the Nobel Prize Outreach AB taking place on 9 December 2021.

The artists were tasked with maintaining the connection between South Africa and Sweden by exploring and foregrounding the secrets of the two Burgs, Gothenburg and Johannesburg, through poetry and visual arts.

The hybrid event will take place both physically and digitally. Interested individuals may register here: https://invitepeople.com/events/2240050ce401a2

The featured artists are; poets Modise Sekgothe (SA) and Linn Björnsdotter (SE) and visual artists, Matías Ruiz-Tagle (SE) and Jotam Schoeman (SA).

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Picture by Craig Smith.


About the Nobel Week Dialogue

The Nobel Week Dialogue is an annual science conference on 9 December in Nobel Week to be held both in Gothenburg and online. The goal of the event is to bring together a select group of the world's leading scientists, policy-makers and thinkers for a series of thought-provoking sessions and working groups on a topical science-related theme. With this event the Nobel Institutions aim to deepen the dialogue between the scientific community and the rest of society on issues connected with the Nobel Prize and of importance for the world.

About Hear My Voice

Hear My Voice is a non-profit organization based in the City of Tshwane, South Africa. Their focus is developing spoken word artists as well as creating open and uncensored platforms for self expression through spoken word poetry. They achieve this through organizing local and international exchange programs, workshops, live spoken word shows, open mics and other literature programs for schools, private companies, government, libraries, festivals and other cultural institutions.

About the artists

Linn Björnsdotter 

Linn Björnsdotter is a writer, performer, educator and editor from Sweden. She debuted at the Swedish National Poetry Slam Championship in 2012, and has since then performed on stages all over Sweden, Scotland and South Africa with her award-winning work. Her writing explores how socio-political issues take hold in the body of the individual. Currently, she is working on her first collection of poems. She doesn’t like bios and hates having to participate in a capitalist system that requires her to market herself.

Modise Sekgothe

Modise Sekgothe is a multifaceted Johannesburg-based artist with multiple titles. Performance poet, actor, playwright, vocalist, and instrumentalist. Each title is representative of a world that he has created through the mastering of his pen. The foundation of Modise’s worlds is writing, which is seemingly a need. Modise’s awakening to the abundance of creativity within him has been successful. Alongside multimedia projects like Metropolar and Mirror Me, he has also combined his poetry into a musical live context as Children of the Wind, with kindred musical

creative. Most recently as Modise journeys towards an album, he created an EP, DIPOKO tsa DIPOKO. The title of the EP hauntingly uses the words ‘poems’ and ‘ghost’ as these chilling musical compositions and soul-stirring vocals bring to life the ghosts of poems / poems of ghosts / poems of poems / ghosts of ghosts.

Matías Ruiz-Tagle

No longer adman, dishwasher, pottery maker, or kiwi fruit picker. Short-form writer, filmmaker, and live-streaming producer spinning the plates with video editing, 3D printed stories, and new forms of digital bric-a-brac with potential to reach wider audiences.

Head of the Swedish branch of Spittoon. An art collective created in Beijing that since 2015 blends literature, film, music, visual arts, and live performance.

Published in Brazil, Canada, and China. Made in Chile. Based in Stockholm.

Jotam Schoeman

Jotam Schoeman is an audio-visual artist and dreamer from Pretoria. He was born in Baberton, Mpumalanga in 1987 and moved to the Capital City with his family in 1990 when his dominie-father was appointed minister at a church in Faerie Glen.

His initial excitement was to become a musician like his brothers, but in 2007 Jotam decided to study visual communication. His reasoning was that it would enable him to produce album covers, videos and posters for all their musical endeavours. The world of graphic design, film and animation interested him more than he thought it would, however, and he became an avid student of the respective fields of photography, typography and illustration. Nine years later he graduated Cum Laude at the Open Window School of Visual Communication with an Honours degree in Film Art. Since 2012 Jotam has been partaking in group exhibitions throughout the country.

“My work is neat, but raw and mostly pen and ink, watercolour or charcoal on paper. I never learned to paint in oils because I knew I wanted to do animation. In animation you want to understand forms, so drawing is the fastest way to communicate that. I want to master this art and then use it to tell stories.”

Currently, Jotam’s enthusiasm lies in conveying narratives through combining songwriting and poetry with experimental animation. Drawing from and appropriating a wide range of influences 

he has formed a band of musicians who are presently working together, writing and creating a comic-book trilogy of tales. This production, Bedoelende: Bied Lied, follows another multi-media production by Jotam in collaboration with the spoken-word artist, Modise Sekgothe. Metropolar is an acclaimed film meets music and poetry project and live performance that was showed at among other places Grahamstown National Arts Festival in 2016. Metropolar presents a look at dual perspectives on the inner city of Johannesburg and features drawings from Jotam’s debut solo art exhibition in 2014 at the Rubixcube Gallery in Maboneng.

Hedda Krausz Sjögren

Hedda Krausz Sjögren is a producer and writer with a background in civil service and theatre. She held numerous positions in government, notably serving as Sweden’s first Counsellor for Cultural Affairs on the African Continent, as well as deputy director in the department of International Affairs, Ministry of Culture. 

Her work for the stage includes directing and producing for Sweden’s National Touring Theatre, Forum for Living History, UN Women, and the Swedish Institute. In 2015 her adaption of Unwomanly Face of War by Nobel Prize Laureate Svetlana Aleksijevitj was produced at the Royal Dramatic Theatre. She has toured over 30 countries including Afghanistan and Western Balkans. Her award winning works are based on witness accounts by survivors and human rights defenders often putting political leaders on stage to portray the protagonists. In 2014 she put seven NATO generals on stage to portray women’s rights activists.

She holds a BA from Bennington College and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Washington, USA.