Zimbabwe hosted its first edition of the International Literary Showcase an initiative with Page Poetry Alive and a few other delivery partners as part of the second edition of the Digipoems. Digipoems is a fusion of poetry and animation bringing together collaboration between creatives in two different mediums to create multimedia poetry.
Throughout history, storytellers have been customizing their stories to make sure their home communities relate. However, technological advancements have made it inevitable for any story to reach the remotest parts of the world in this era of globalization. This has pushed writers into a space where they have to consciously think about being inclusive in their work but also staying true to their work.
A Digipoems Roundtable had a panel discussion on How does the 21st century writer make sure they are able to cater for an international audience whilst maintaining authenticity in their work as part of the International Literary Showcase and here are some of the points made by the panelists.
- Identify the demographic you are creating content. Which could be as simple as that you are writing for someone similar to you.
- Its Ok to express yourself from your individual experiences and perspectives
- When you create content to represent a specific demographic its important not project or generalise your own individual experiences as being the entire group’s but rather seek to try and bring out the diversity within the group.
- Writes for the God who is in every one of us
- Authentic content will transcend language and boarders
- Meanings can get lost in translation
Nadine Aisha Jassat
- In a world where you are told you don’t exist tell your own stories and reclaim your identity.
- Honour each stage of your journey
- Preserve your identity, culture, language
- Seek out collaborations, paint out a unified picture across boarders
- Writes a social commentary of her experiences and the audience does not shape her story
- Do not burden yourself with your audience, first create your work.
Some interesting questions were raised from the floor included below as reflection. We would love to have your thoughts in the comments
- How do you deal with magical aspects? For example when writing about something some people may believe in and some will not.
- How does writing affect your mental well-being?
- How responsible are you for the well-being of the reader who will consume your content, if for example you write from a dark place and your art could take someone to a dark space?
- Can you separate The Art from The Artist?