Festival Challenges Botswana Writers
Botswana’s premier LGBT-themed theatre festival, Queer Shorts Showcase Festival (QSS Festival), will this year incorporate a build up series of writing workshops to train Batswana on writing play scripts and poetry, with the support of the Vision 2016 Council.
In its 3rd installment, QSS festival focuses on producing and promoting stories from Botswana. The 2016 writing workshops seek to encourage writers to engage with LGBT related themes so Botswana’s body of work and range of voices grows.
The festival Artistic Director and Founder, Kat Kai Kol-Kes, expressed how excited they are to open up the opportunity for Botswana-based writers and writing talent to be trained prior to the performance festival.
Tickets for the performances will be P100. Speaking on facilitating the 3 day writing workshops, Kol-Kes said “I’ve spent a few years producing original content for the festival, which has been a great test and blessing” adding that “now I’d like to start challenging other writers – beginners and professionals –
Writers of all ages can register online to participate in the workshops, (qssfestival.blogspot.com) which will take place in the Vision 2016 Council Building. According to Kol-Kes, spaces are limited to allow each participant time to craft engaging poetry and plays. Eight workshop participants will be rewarded for their efforts by having their new works read during the 2016 Queer Shorts Showcase Performance Festival.
No stranger to theatre and poetry herself, Kol-Kes is an internationally published writer, poet and playwright whose work has been performed in Botswana and South Africa. This year she released a debut anthology of LGBT-themed poetry titled “…On About The Same Old Things.” with UK based publishing house, Bahati Books. Kol-Kes will also premier “AfriQueer Now” at the festival before its international debut in New York in September at the “Performing the World” Conference; following her appearance at the 2016 Writivism Festival to be held in Kampala, Uganda, in August.
The Queer Shorts Showcase Festival – which regardless of its thematic focus is an all inclusive dialogue space and has been applauded for its role in promoting education and community engagement with LGBT issues. In 2015, the festival successfully hosted international performer Mogoshi Mogwera (South Africa), with a play which interrogates the role of religion in household related homophobia and self hatred.
This year, Kol-Kes hopes that with the monumental outcome of the LEGABIBO registration case, Batswana can continue to expand on how they think about, understand, write and perform the stories of LGBT people in Botswana.