What we play is life, says Winslow Schalkwyk

Winslow Schalkwyk, TEDxCapeTown

The third conversation of our 10-part digital series, Intersections of Change, focused on how creativity inspires hope, especially during these uncertain times due to the pandemic. 

Winslow Schalkwyk is no stranger to the TEDxCapeTown stage and was first introduced to our audience back in 2012. By stepping onto the virtual stage eight years later, this trail-blazer was hoping to have a full circle moment while unpacking the themes of his multimedia spoken word production - SUGARWATER

What has Winslow been up to during Lockdown? 

Along with creating incredible spoken-word pieces, this has also been a time of introspection for him. During level five of lockdown, Winslow found himself isolating alone, with no friends or family around him. This experience was not easy for him, but it served as an opportunity to create a process of “unlearning” and to explore the wounds that he’d been carrying.

Creating spaces within myself for new thoughts and ways of being that are conducive to where I find myself right now. 

Through the process of developing his project, he slowly found himself letting go of things that no longer served him. This included letting go of society’s expectations of what it means to be a “good person, queer, a poet and an artist”. This was a transformational process that allowed him to shed the opinions and thoughts of others he had unknowingly internalised, and to seek his own authentic truth in the process. 

SUGARWATER is a collection of six poems - a beautiful story of love, learning and life. The pieces are a testament to Winslow’s creative spirit and have since been picked up by the Virtual National Arts Festival 2020. Along with recording the spoken pieces on his laptop, the visuals aspects were shot on his phone. This is a perfect example of how important it is to follow your creative passion even without having the perfect circumstances. 

Winslow’s advice during this time: 

Now is the time. Explore the creativity and dive into those aspects of self that we never have time for, and really just allow whatever is there to come out and honour the space that we are in. 

If you’d love to watch and read Winslow Schalkwyk’s incredible poems entitled - SUGARWATER - visit his website here.


Watch Winslow's conversation on our virtual stage via our YouTube channel below: