White Star Liner, a speculative story delivered in an eclectic mix of poetry styles, is set for debut at the Free State Arts Festival on 12 July 2018.
Told through spoken word poetry and choral verse poetry, White Star Liner delivers the story of a group of white South Africans whose inclusion into the identity of the country is brought to question. South Africa faces tumultuous trouble as young revolutionaries, ignited by the lack of racial transformation, cry out for the return of a programme of radical economic transformation to the helm of the country. Considering what this means for their place in South African society, the white South Africans build a ship – the White Star Liner.
Co-written by poet Tshiamo Malatji and writer Mpho Matsitle, White Star Liner is a collaboration between Bloem Youth Poetry Slam and Art State to be presented as part of the Free State Art Festival’s Literature Festival.
Employing poetry, storytelling and theatrical elements, White Star Liner will be delivered in three movements at the festival’s popular ATKV Boeke Oase. The first movement, Smallanyana Black Anger, is set in the very near future when news just in confirm that the parliamentary committee on expropriation of land without compensation failed to deliver on the popular mandate. This leaves the country’s youth with bone deep dissatisfaction, and they make their anger heard loud and clear. So loud it reaches deep down the doldrums of the political graveyard to resuscitate an unlikely hero: Msholozi. The only character of the the next movement – The Second Cumming – which is rendered as an epic poem punctuated with music. The last movement, Europe For Europeans, sees the response from those who are against the tide of radical economic transformation, who reckon it is better to risk the tides of the Atlantic sea. As thus, led by Markus de la Rey, they build a ship to take them back to the home their ancestors abandoned four centuries ago (much like Noah did, much like Garvey did) – maruping go a boelwa, they insist.
White Star Liner plays for one night only on 12 July 2018 during the Free State Arts Festival at the ATKV Tent in the University of the Free State. The show starts at 17:30, tickets sell for R25 each at Computicket.
Also published on Medium.