Hear My Voice launches poetry mobility fund to encourage the export of South African poets to the world
Hear My Voice has launched a Mobility Fund which encourages international literary festivals and events to book South African poets by covering up to 50% of the fees incurred when booking South African talent.
The Mobility Fund was put together in order to encourage the export of local poets to the world by incentivising international literary platforms, such as book fairs and festivals, to book and feature SA poets as part of their literature activities. The Fund would ordinarily contribute towards the travelling costs for local poets to get to their destination but due to the current COVID19 outbreak the initiative will take place in a digital realm for the remainder of 2020.
Either the international organisation that would like to book a South African poet, or a local poet who has been booked by an international festival or event, can apply for the grant which will cover up to 50% of the poets’ honorarium or booking fee – with a ceiling limit of R5000 per poet or event.
“The mobility fund is an extension of our core activity, which is international exchange programmes. We want the international market to grow their appetite for local literature and this fund allows us to take South Africans further and wider into the world.” – says MoAfrika Mokgathi-Mvubu, Director at Hear My Voice.
Hear My Voice has been instigating international exchange programmes for poets since 2016, with the first edition of their annual “Azania to DC” programme in collaboration with Jonathan B Tucker which brings U.S based poets to South Africa, and similarly sends South African based poets to Washington DC. As with the Mobility Fund, Azania to DC will continue to take place this year through digital solution and innovation.
“We want the world to hear local stories, and we want local poets to be able to survive off their art and to get paid their worth” says Mokgathi-Mvubu.
With more international literary festivals going online, and budgets being cut across the board, the HMV team hope that the Mobility Fund will continue to ensure that South African poets get booked and that they receive their worth in terms of remuneration.
The Mobility Fund is made possible through part funding from the National Arts Council.
The closing date for Mobility Fund grants is 30 September 2020 and there are various requirements which guarantee the integrity of the programme. Mainly that both parties are aware that either one is making the grant application. For more details on how to apply for the Mobility Fund or if you’d like to donate and contribute to the meaningful work that this non-profit organisation does within the literature and poetry space, visit www.hearmyvoice.co.za/donate for more information.