22 – 28 October


Compass: The Language I Cannot Speak with Tariro Takavarasha and Christie Kandiwa

Friday, 23 Oct
We are inviting donations. 100% of proceeds will go directly to writer(s) / artist(s)

Following an open call for event proposals from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic artists and writers in February 2020, we are delighted to present six events as part of our Compass strand.

Zimbabwean storytellers Tariro Takavarasha and Kayssie Kandiwa met at Poetry Ireland when Kayssie performed a poem about her grandmother in Shona, a language Tari does not speak. Because she was never taught it. Each has a piece of the puzzle of what it is to be Zimbabwean and from the diaspora. Their experiences, though varying and deeply rooted, unite to paint a picture that says as much about beautiful and complex intergenerational relationships, as it does about the lasting and current effects of immigration, colonialism, multiculturalism and growing up into a proud black woman in the western world today. The Language I Cannot Speak is a cross-genre performance of storytelling, poetry and interview, that experiments with traditional forms of literature, interweaving stories of family, home, African pride, immigrant pain, the power of language and stories, unreliable transport, bossy aunties, crazy uncles and dressing appropriately for the weather. 

Kayssie Kandiwa was born in Zimbabwe and moved to Ireland at the age of ten. Her work is influenced by blending her Zimbabwean cultural heritage and her Irish upbringing and intertwines Southern-African myths and local languages and forms. She featured in Dedalus Press Writing Home: The ‘New Irish’ Poets Anthology, and was selected for Poetry Ireland’s Versify 2019. Tari Takavarasha has performed at queer cabaret nights SpiceBag, GlitterHole and Black Jam as well as fundraising events Dubh and Scratch. Her work has been publicly displayed in Dublin and Paris as part of the Dublin Fringe Fest 2020.  Her work focuses on themes of race, family, mental health, love and friendship often through a rap-inspired style. 

Presented with support from Axis Ballymun.

The Gutter Bookshop is sad they can’t be at the festival in person this year but you can browse (and purchase!) books by the featured authors at the special ILFDublin festival shop - CLICK HERE. And remember that there’s no postage to pay in Ireland if you spend over €30 or if you choose to collect your books from either of our bookshops. Just choose the ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘Click & Collect’ options at checkout!