Focus on festival that gave the World Poetry Movement

Top of the magazine

Top of the magazine refers to Ashraf Aboul-Yazid’s article on the rising African voices in Medellin

By Ashraf Aboul-Yazid
President, Asia Journalists Association

MEDELLIN: A contribution by Ashraf Aboul-Yazid on the festival that inspired the creation of the World Poetry Movement and other international poetry festivals inside and outside Colombia was featured in the Congress of African Journalists International Magazine.

The August 2022 edition, published in Nigeria, the headquarters of the Congress of African Writers highlighted the Rising African Voices in Medellin (page 9-13) by Ashraf Aboul-Yazid

“If poetry can be assimilated by the process of the Historical Pact in this country, and contribute to mobilize the population, developing bonds based on identity, on mutual solidarity, on trust in a future forged by a constant conscious popular struggle, with clear objectives and tasks, if Colombia can become the country it dreams of, and poetry is part of its dream, one day Colombia will radiate its deep spirit to the world and will be a paradigm of social change in the world”

These were the words of Fernando Rendon; the renowned Colombian poet and founder and director of the International Poetry Festival of Medellin, for more than three decades.

The International Poetry Festival of Medellin (Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin) is an annual festival held in the second-largest city of Columbia.

It was founded in 1991 when Medellin had a reputation for violence and from its beginning the festival has attempted to offer an alternative.

In 2006 the festival was one of the recipients of the Right Livelihood Award.

The citation for the award explained that it was given “for showing how creativity, beauty, free expression and community can flourish amongst and overcome even deeply entrenched fear and violence.

“The festival has also won a Spanish literary award for its contribution to peace among other things. In 2011 the World Poetry Movement was founded in the context of alternative.

A guest poetess, Elmaya Jabbarova from Azerbaijan, had a poem entitled” AN EPIC WRITTEN ON CLOUDS”. We quote these lines:

“We fell in love, loved each other,

We know that the world is like heaven.

We saw two faces of people,

We realized that everywhere is like a dungeon!”

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