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Projects During Covid

By Koleka Putuma

Show Time/Showstopper

Publication: Stillpoint Magazine Issue 005: DAZE

Title: SHOWTIME [the poem also known as SHOWSTOPPER] accompanied with 'JOSEPHINE AND THE LEOPARD"

Description: A Poem by Koleka Putuma and Video by JADE MONTSERRAT & WEBB-ELLIS.

Africa My Africa

A performance poem produced in collaboration with The Centre For The Less Good Idea.

Urgent Drama

A series of digital scenes that reflect the state of the world right now.

[BLACK GIRL LIVE] for the Highway Notice Project

"The Highway Notice Project" is a response to our current conditions. Curated by Bronwyn Lace of The Centre For The Less Good Idea, these billboards on the M1 and M2 highway in Johannesburg have held a series of monthly artworks over the past 6 months.

Eudy Simelane Annual Memorial Lecture

The 2020 keynote speaker for the annual Eudy Simelane Memorial Lecture.

The lecture is hosted by the Ujamaa Centre for Biblical and Theological Community Development and Research, based within the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and aims to focus some specific attention on homophobic hate crimes and violence by reflecting on the life and the painful death of Eudy Simelane.

The 30-minute interview-style lecture reflects on the intersection of gender, sexuality, and faith/religion and the ways in which faith informs life-denying realities for queer people in the African faith landscape.

Screenshot 2020-09-14 at 16_21_23.webp

Feminism under Corona podcast

The tenth and final episode of the Feminism Under Corona (FuC) chapter follows a
conversation with poet, playwright and theatre director Koleka Putuma. Author of the poetry book Collective Amnesia (2017) and the play No Easter Sunday for Queers (2017), she is founder and director of Manyano Media, a multidisciplinary project that produces and supports the work and stories of black queer artists and queer life.

The conversation between Koleka Putuma, in Cape Town, and Sonia Fernández Pan, in Berlin, took place at the end of January 2021. They talked a lot about poetry, as a practice, as part of Koleka Putuma’s early biography and as a working context.

Something New

A poem informed and inspired by Wellcome Collection's research looking into the ways young people across the globe managed their mental health during the Covid-19 lockdown.

This poem and animation illustrates key elements of the Covid Living project. It beautifully captures young people’s approach to dealing with the challenges of lockdown, across the globe. The film was produced by Flying Object in collaboration with Mindscapes, Wellcome’s international cultural programme about mental health.

Credit: Something New, written and narrated by Koleka Putuma, illustrated by Ivyy Chen and produced by Flying Object.

Every 3 Hours for The Global Goals


Every three hours, a South African woman is killed.
The country has one of the highest femicide rates in the world.
This film from The Global Goals features a poem by and narration by Koleka Putuma about the violence women face, and the need for vital change.

Organisation to support: Philisa Abafazi Bethu SA

Film produced by: Horne Productions
Creative Director/Producer: Kate Horne
Co-Producer: Daniela Riascos
Development Producer/Line Producer: Hannah Watkins

Vocabulary for The Future


A vocabulary for the future is an audiovisual creation project produced for the Biennial of Thought. It consists of 14 short films that explore incipient vocabulary of another possible future, a first map to explore exits to this damaged present.

Which is the weight of the past in the present? What is in our hands to change, about how things are today? Is there anything new, extraordinary, about the times we are living in? The words of the young South African poet Koleka Putuma and the images of the filmmaker Irene Moray leave the meaning of the word “normal” on hold.

The work was exhibited at the @cccb_barcelona Biennial of Open City Thought in Barcelona in October 2020.

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