Creative Work

October 2, 2020

Coming Up for Air- An immersive audio poetry experience

Malika Ndlovu

This 10-minute audio poetry experience created by performance poet and applied arts practitioner Malika Ndlovu asks you to receive the invitation of your body and breath. Interweaving word, sound and metaphorical image, it surfaces themes of universal human experience as physical being and its relationship with breath. In its moments of it being witnessed, caught, taken away, held, expelled or extinguished breath is an intimate partner, a guide. This poetic voyage intentionally reflects on the gravity of toxic social and psycho-emotional environments and the dis-ease, destruction and grief they cause. It is also a meditative seeking out of the regenerative processes and (re) source of breath, where it can turn or re-turn us to balance, to our natural rhythms with ease, as we recover lightness and ways to reenter the dance of being alive.

Listening Guide from the Poet

COMING UP FOR AIR as audio poetry with a subtle ocean drum soundscape, is best listened to with surround sound or via a good headset/earphones. Allow your body to be in a relaxed posture and ideally with eyes closed, for the full immersive 10 minute experience. Let your breath go where it wants and needs to throughout the journey. Perhaps use the first few and last moments of this piece to witness your own faithful breath accompanying you.

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Malika Ndlovu

About Malika Ndlovu

MALIKA NDLOVU ‘s words and productions have appeared on pages and stages across South Africa, in Austria, Uganda, USA, UK, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines. As a poet, playwright, performer and arts administrator Malika’s contribution to South African arts and culture, via writing groups, numerous workshops , festivals and mentorship spans over 20 years. Since 2007 she was project manager, guest curator and presenter of the Africa Centre’s Badilisha Poetry X-Change and later the first ever Africa – focused poetry podcasting platform. As a founder-member of Cape Town-based women writers’ collective WEAVE (1998 – 2004), she co-edited WEAVE’s Ink @ Boiling Point: A selection of 21st Century Black Women’s writing from the Southern Tip of Africa. In 2004 she initiated And The Word Was Woman Ensemble. Her poetry collections include Born in Africa But (1999) Womb to World: A Labour of Love (2001), Truth is both Spirit and Flesh (2008), Invisible Earthquake: a Woman’s Journal through Stillbirth (2009), CLOSE (2017).  Her published plays are A Coloured Place (1998) and Sister Breyani (2010). She features prominently in Our Words, Our Worlds: Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000 – 2018  (UKZN Press, 2019) edited by Makhosazana Xaba.