Online poetry competition to help youth deal with HIV/Aids

first_imgYoung people will be able to voice-out their sexual expreiences or lack thereof through the DFL Lover + Another competition. (Image: DFL Lover + Another Facebook)A performance poetry competition encouraging young people to talk openly and creatively about relationships, intimacy, sex, HIV/Aids is calling on aspiring poets to enter.Drama for Life (DFL), an independent academic, research and community engagement programme based at the Wits School of Arts, under the theme Lover + Another, has been hosting regional and national poetry competition slams and workshops for about four years, educating the youth about HIV/Aids through poetry.With this year’s theme of “Human Connection”, it is calling on aspiring poets to record their performance poetry on their mobile devices and load them on the Love + Another platforms on Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter, or via email.According to Drama for Life, in the age of HIV and Aids issues of trust, intimacy, touch, lust, passion, sex, sensual pleasure, the erotic, betrayal, hurt, broken relationships, gender violence, sexual identities, discrimination, broken promises and love all demand attention, and are potent subjects for poetry.DFL adds that through the project’s use of the spoken-word culture, young people are able to directly address the risks and cultural factors affecting their sexual behaviour in terms of values and attitudes towards sex, relationships and HIV/Aids. The project is designed to be accessible to all youth in higher education institutions nationally, and those in townships and suburb communities across the range.Every entrant is allowed only one poem in the competition so they should send in their best work. The competition closes on 15 November 2014.The performance poetry community was launched in 2008. Through applied drama, Drama for Life engages future leaders in the field to become artists who understand the ethical and contextual issues related to drama that is used as a learning method, drama that shapes research and drama that can be used to bring about social behaviour change.DFL’s Lover + Another has been growing yearly since 2010 when only University of the Witwatersrand and University of KwaZulu-Natal were involved.In 2011 it was hosted in in five cities across the country: Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Cape Town, Grahamstown and Johannesburg.Due to the enormous response by the audience, the DFL Lover + Another Performance Poetry Challenge expanded its competition in 2012, working together with 23 universities in South Africa to create a national performance poetry challenge.last_img

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