19th Poetry Africa Poster

The Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) in collaboration with the Durban University of Technology in The Department of Visual Communication Design is delighted to provide some insight into the process of creating and designing the 19th Poetry Africa poster.


This collaboration, starting in 2012, has become a vital part of the visual identity of the festival, where Durban can expect a new design each year to embody the current mood of events. The project has developed over the years from a brief that initially required students to hold on to the image of the African mask and slowly evolved and invited interpretations that include a broader set of references to the festival’s rich African heritage. The goal of the poster is not only to convey the energy, richness of content and spirit of the festival, but also to shift people’s pre-conceptions about poetry, and to entice the viewer to find out more about the events. The evolution led to this year’s poster designed by third year student Aalia Jhaveri.

Aalia Jhaveri is a third year graphic design student at DUT and the creative behind this year’s Poetry Africa poster. She is described by her lecturer, Marlene Wasserman as a talented and gracious student who starts off with an intuitive response to a brief which she later refines through a more analytical and systematic process. Commenting on the imagery behind the poster, which references African history, “The image grew from a tiny little San referenced sketch of an eland which developed to be evocative of both African heritage and a contemporary African spirit.”

The head of third year Visual Communication Design, Dennis Purvis said, “I’ve been working with the UKZN on this since 2011. It is fantastic as each year the students see their work printed and displayed all around Durban and the surrounding areas and over and above this, students learn how to work with a client”.

The two runners-up as selected by the Centre for Creative Arts are Lwazi Khumalo and Tayne Howard

Presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and made possible by support from the eThekwini Municipality, KZN Department of Arts and Culture, National Arts Council and the Goethe Institute. The Centre for Creative Arts is housed in the College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is a special project of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cheryl Potgieter. 


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