Radikal Xpression

Written by Ziphozakhe Hlobo


“Silence is a killer, silence will never protect you; ukuthula kukufa, ukuthula akusoze kukhusele,” five Radikal Xpression female poets (Ziphozakhe Hlobo, Winnie Mabindla, Zenande Gxabela, Sinethemba Mbovane and Christie van Zyl) said this together on stage in their show, Confessions of Wom(b)en on 01-August-2013 held at Ragazzi Live Bar.

Described as ‘five journeys of womanhood,’ the show attracted Cape Town TV, which broadcasted it on National Women’s Day in the same month and because of the overwhelmingly thrilling reception, it is scheduled to be performed this year in August again. For the organizers, this was confirmation that Cape Town needs more poetry shows with women’s stories as their focal point and that a larger spectrum of female poets must partake in such feminism platforms. Hence, the movement plans to make the show bigger this year, by allowing other female poets to feature in the production and taking it to different Cape Town areas.


Rhythm, word, vibrancy, artistic alliances, faculties and flairs; these words best describe the fusion that is conceived in each Radikal Xpression display and are the source of the movement’s slogan “connected in rhythm and word.”

The vision behind the movement is to discover, develop and promote artists to an extent that they feel ready to spread their wings to the larger art industry. It also aims to familiarize performing artists (particularly musicians and poets) to the live show scenery of the business (from administration to live performances) as opposed to only being used to the technical studio recording aspect. Indeed, the movement continues to set its bar high for the performance scenery, and concomitantly gives new artists a platform, such as its traditional session ‘My Life in Art,’ which they plan to host two times this year in March and November.

 Established in May of 2013 by Ziphozakhe Hlobo and now, administrated by her and Christie van Zyl, the movement’s biggest theme this year is to host shows in the townships, beginning in Khayelitsha. This newly implemented vision came after some of Radikal Xpression’s resident artists had been coordinating and facilitating an arts-in-action workshop project founded and supervised by the Whizz ITC Centre (Site C, Khayelitsha) under the ‘Art is the way’ theme. The workshops’ reception in the targeted township was more than pleasing, triggering a consciousness that more artistic activity is needed in the townships and also, there has come a time when movements must bridge the ‘class’ gap between the so-called mainstream and township art industries in Cape Town.

So, this year from the movement, people can expect My Life in Art (15 March, Buyel’embo Village, Makhaya Khayelitsha), Radikal Xpression slot at the 2014 Zabalaza Festival (11 March Masambe Theatre, Baxter), Xpressions of Love (12 April), Art Administration workshops (June and July), Confessions of Wom(b)en (August, September and October) and finally, another My Life in Art (November). People can also expect plenty of collaborations of the movement with various Cape Town art movements; because Radikal Xpression is dedicated to develop the arts industry as a whole, believing that it is vital to do so in order for artists to co-exist in a healthy art industry to make it sustainable.


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