weeder plakkaat 6

12 healing poems between granite and wild olive
Afrikaans’s contribution to healing highlighted at Paarl festival

Ko luister mooi oe wat ek hie’ wil se
innie taal diepe as’ie suiwe sous
oppie boe’jong se tong… (from ‘Boeta Vee Ko Priek’ by Michael Weeder)

The Afrikaans Language Monument will on 22 September host the official launch of an international festival aimed at the healing of memories. In addition, a dozen of reverend Michael Weeder’s poems will be unveiled in the monument’s ‘Groen Galery’ to coincide with the event. The ‘One World Festival of Healing’, which takes place from 23 to 24 September in Paarl Arboretum next to the Berg River, uses the healing powers of nature and music to serve as constructive outlets for traumatic memories. As part of the festival, Afrikaans’s diverse history will also be shared with visitors and participants from 15 countries over the two days.

Weeder (59), who grew up in Cape Town, is a film maker, writer, priest and a founding member of December 1st, the social movement that focuses on the memories and legacy of slavery. It is therefore appropriate that his poems are displayed in the ‘Groen Galery’, an open air gallery between the beautiful indigenous trees on Paarl Mountain, as it offers new perspectives on the daily lives of many Afrikaans-speaking Africans. An exhibit of various Afrikaans writers’ works are launched every six months in this gallery’s display frames, made of recycled wood and glass, to focus on the cultural and natural aspects of the monument.

Weeder is also a participant of the ‘One World Festival of Healing’, hosted by Camissa Solutions and the Institute for the Healing of Memories, which attracts a global community to celebrate diversity. The Paarl Arboretum is a 31 hectare green lung along the Berg River that is subdivided into all the continents of the world, with 2 600 trees and shrubs grouped according to their continents of origin. The spring flowers are in themselves a natural spectacle, but add music, poetry, a holistic fairground, origami, yoga, fun ride and Zumba, and you have a festival filled with wholesome offerings.

Weeder’s poetry exhibition in the ‘Groen Galery’ will be open to the public from 23 September 2017 until 31 January 2018. The monument, which is also the starting point of Paarl’s Tree Route, is open daily from 08:00 to 17:00. Access is R30 for adults, R10 for SA students / pensioners and R5 for children (free under six years). For inquiries about the monument or to find out more about the popular Full-moon picnics, Stargazing picnics and concerts, call 021 863 4809/0543/2 or send an email to admin@taalmonument.co.za. Visit www.taalmonument.co.za or www.facebook.com/afrikaansetaalmonument for more information.

Michael Weeder