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Jolyn Phillips

Jolyn Phillips - foto Brenda Veldtman
Jolyn Phillips - foto Brenda Veldtman

(South Africa, 1992) is a writer, poet, composer, singer and activist. Her 2016 debut collection of short stories, Tjieng Tjang Tjerries, received critical praise, was shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Prize for best debut, and won the NIHSS Prize for best fiction. Phillips herself adapted the stories for the stage. In 2017 she published Radbraak, a collection of poetry in Afrikaans, which won the 2018 UJ Prize for best debut and earned a nomination for the Elizabeth Eybers Prize. She set some of these stories to music. More of her poems and short stories have appeared in various magazines and anthologies. She is currently graduating from the University of the Western Cape with a PhD in creative writing and teaching African literature at the University of Johannesburg.

(WN 2020)

Archive available for: Jolyn Phillips

  • Winternachten 2020

    WWZ x Writers Unlimited 2020 (featuring a.o. Sticks)

    With: Benzokarim, Çağla Meknuze, Cynthia Mc Leod, Dagger DX, Elten Kiene, Guus van der Steen, Jesse Laport, Jolyn Phillips, Marco Martens, Quin Kempees, Roberta Petzoldt, Rosabelle Illes, Sticks

    Performers, poetry, punchlines, music, exhibits, beer & bites in a feel-good setting during this special Winternachten edition of Woorden Worden Zinnen at PAARD in the Grote Zaal. For this special occasion we've curated a program with artists from all over the globe. One of the definite highlights was a unique performance by rapper Sticks!

    The (inter-)national line-up also included Surinamese writer Cynthia McLeod, composer and singer Jolyn Phillips from South Africa, Turkish poet Çağla Meknuze, the Aruban poet Rosabelle Illes, poet and performer Roberta Petzoldt, poet and performer Jesse Laport, musician and spoken-word artist Guus van der Steen, poet en performer Marco Martens and spoken-word artist Benzokarim. Plus: verses to take home by Quin Kempees, your favourite host Elten Kiene, and tasty tunes by DJ Dagger DX.

    Woorden Worden Zinnen is a highly accessible platform and stage night for word art in the broadest sense. It takes place on and at stages and festivals throughout the Randstad and was founded in 2010 by spoken-word artist Elten Kiene and literary organizer Wesley Loos.

    This night is powered by GUAP (www.guap070.nl).

  • Winternachten 2020

    Opening Night

    With: Adriaan van Dis, Angelina Enny, Antjie Krog, Cynthia Mc Leod, Ellen Deckwitz, Goenawan Mohamad, Hassnae Bouazza, Jolyn Phillips, Karin Amatmoekrim, Nelleke Noordervliet, Petina Gappah, Reggie Baay, Rosabelle Illes, Shailesh Bahoran, Simon(e) van Saarloos, Ton van de Langkruis, Vamba Sherif

    A fantastic line-up of fifteen Dutch and international authors provided a preview of the festival with their new poetry and prose, mixed with dance performances by Shailesh Bahoran. This festive evening celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Winternachten festival with the presentation of the (Dutch language) anniversary anthology De verovering van Jupiter (Over de dekolonisatie van de geest) (Conquering Jupiter: On decolonising the mind). The festival was opened by Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

    At the behest of Writers Unlimited, all contributors wrote a short essay, story or poem for the anthology to reflect on the festival theme. It is a unique collection of 28 wonderful pieces of writing edited by Toef Jaeger and published by Jurgen Maas. It is available at regular bookstores and online.

    In the same venue in which the first Indonesian Winternacht (forerunner of Winternachten Festival) took place in 1995 - the Theater aan het Spui - on this jubilee opening night we proudly presented (inter)national writers that have developed a special bond with our festival and its audience. These included: Goenawan Mohamad (Indonesia) and Nelleke Noordervliet - who both performed at the first Winternacht in 1995 -, Adriaan van Dis, Antjie Krog (South Africa), Reggie Baay, Manon Uphoff, Vamba Sherif and Cynthia McLeod (Suriname). Tip: be sure to look up these writers in our online video and sound archive!

    Writers Unlimited will always continue to seek out talent, and in 25 years has presented many debuting local and foreign writers. How wonderful, then, to welcome on this evening - once again, or for the first time: Angelina Enny (Indonesia), Rosabelle Illes (Aruba), Jolyn Phillips (South Africa) and, from the Netherlands, Karin Amatmoekrim, Simon(e) van Saarloos and Ellen Deckwitz. We awaited their appearances and recitations with bated breath.

    Theatre maker, choreographer and hiphop innovator Shailesh Bahoran performed parts of his dance solo Heritage that was inspired by his Hindostani background; a short video of The Theatre of Wrong Decisions was shown and the Hesce Mourits Quartet of the Royal Conservatory The Hague also performed.

    The Opening Night was hosted by Hassnae Bouazza.

    The performance of Manon Uphoff, announced for this programme, has been canceled due to illness.

  • Winternachten 2020 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    Book of My Life: Jolyn Phillips

    Writers tell us about their favourite book: the book that inspires or touches them, that set their artistic, moral or intellectual compass. In short, the book they would recommend to everyone. Interview: Hassnae Bouazza.

  • Winternachten 2020 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Free at Last: A Day of Decolonised Life

    Exciting! Are these fairy tales or is this finally a decolonised world? Writers Unlimited asked a very international group of eight authors to sum up a day of colonisation-free existence in poetry or prose. Eight days of liberation, each in their own way.

    In this event you will see and hear Akwasi, the Dutch rapper, actor and writer of Ghanaian background; Barbaros Altuğ, the Turkish writer, journalist and literary agent; Asmaa Azaizeh, Palestinian poet, journalist and cultural curator born in Lower Galilee in Israel's north; Petina Gappah, lawyer and writer from Zimbabwe; Cağla Meknuze, jounalist and poet from Turkey; Jolyn Phillips, writer, poet and composer from South Africa; Simon(e) van Saarloos, American-Dutch writer and philosopher; and Vamba Sherif, Liberian-Dutch writer and journalist.

    The authors present their work in their preferred writing language or mother tongue; Dutch and English translations are projected simultaneously.

  • Winternachten 2020 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    I Have No Other Country than this Country

    Connectedness with the fatherland, the struggle with inequality, motherhood, womanhood and aging. Are these themes from the versatile work of Antjie Krog also shared by her younger colleague Jolyn Phillips? Did Krog pave the way for a new generation? What does Phillips carry on and what does she leave behind? In a conversation with Chris Keulemans, Krog and Phillips take up their differences and similarities and lay out the future of Afrikaans-language literature.

    Krog is an author of poetry collections, children's poetry, prose and plays. She has also translated books from Dutch and English into Afrikaans. In the Netherlands, she is known for her impressive recitations during Poetry International, the Night of Poetry and Winternachten festival.

    Phillips is working on a PhD in Creative Writing. She has published short stories and poems. In 2016 she had a successful debut with her English-language stories, Tjieng Tjang Tjerries, which she adapted for the stage, including music. In 2017 she followed that up with a volume of poetry in Afrikaans, Radbraak.

    Tip: Antjie Krog also appears at the Winternachten New Year's Concert on Sunday afternoon, 19 January in the Zuiderstrand Theatre: a sparkling matinee of music, poetry and spoken word with Wende, Fresku, Ellen ten Damme, Ramsey Nasr and others.

  • Winternachten 2020 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    Letters from Overseas

    In 1795, the once-enslaved but later freed Wilhelmina Kelderman sent a heartbreaking letter from Paramaribo to her former master. The letter never arrived, as it was on a ship hijacked by the English, ended up in an archive, and was only opened two centuries later.

    Writers Unlimited festival asked nine authors to write a letter to someone in a (former) colony, inspired by Wilhelmina's entreaty, and to present it at this event. They will recite them in their mother tongue or preferred language of writing; English or Dutch translations will be simultaneously projected.

    Participants are Antjie Krog (South Africa), Alfred Birney, Reggie Baay, Ellen Deckwitz, Rosabelle Illes (Aruba), Jolyn Phillips (South Africa), Jasper Albinus, poet Angelina Enny (Indonesia) and poet, musician and theatre maker Robin Block.

    Tip: Antjie Krog, Reggie Baay, Ellen Deckwitz and Jolyn Phillips will also read from their contributions to the 25th anniversary Winternachten festival anthology during the Opening Night - A Free Mind on Wednesday, 15 January at Theater aan het Spui.