"Rhythm And Poetry: Weaving With Words (RAP:WWW)"
by Jaco Van Der Merwe
Cost: Price included in Festival ticket
Time: Thursday, 1 September
Place: Sci-Bono, Newtown
Materials: Please bring something to write with
Jaco will give a brief account of his own personal mythology/backstory as a weaver of words, with brief audio and visual and live examples of work in various formats. The workshop will cover some techniques and conceptual approaches to writing and performing which Jaco has enjoyed using or pretending to use, and will conclude with a short writing and open mic session for attendees. (Hitting the mic is not compulsory - as Jerry Seinfeld explained: most people's number one fear is speaking in front of people, and number two is death, so if the average person had to be at a funeral they'd rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.)
NB: Please bring something to write with: ink and journal-paper is golden, laptops are also acceptable.
Jaco Van Der Merwe - Biography
Jaco has been producing and performing work in the entertainment and music industry since 1998. His writing was published in SACEE’s English Alive in every year that he was in high school, 1997-2001. In 2003 he hosted a series of writing and songwriting workshops at the SASOL Schools Festival. He released two solo albums of spoken-word and hip-hop influenced poetry in 2005 and 2009 as “Ajax”, and hosted annual concerts at the SA State Theatre from 2006-2009 called “Ajax & Friends”, featuring a diverse crew of musicians, writers and performers. From 2009-2013 he taught English Home Language and Arts and Culture at a township high school in the North West Province, and acquired a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (cum laude).
In 2011 Jaco’s Afrikaans electro-rap music project “Bittereinder” won a SAMA (South African Music Award) for their first album, and in 2015 they won another SAMA for their third album, amongst 15 other awards and nominations. Many of Bittereinder’s singles and videos have charted on dozens of radio and TV stations between 2011 to the present date. In 2014 Jaco published a book of prose-poetry titled To Form Trees When They Are Young, illustrated by Gerhard van Wyk. He has performed and MC’d on stages at festivals, award shows and music venues in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa.
In 2015 Jaco founded a collective of experimental musicians and visual artists called Wêreld Records. Currently Jaco is lecturing in the Film Arts school at The Open Window Institute for Art and Digital Sciences.