The Adam Small Fees At Pniël Museum

By Chloe Carelse

A year following Adam Small’s death in 2016, a poetry and literature festival was held in his honour. It was so well accepted that it has now returned for its second year and it seems as if this festival will become an annual event.

The weekend of the 23-25 of February hosted a long list of aspiring and well established writers such as Breyten Breytenbach, Hemelbesem, Jacques Pauw, and many others.

Politics was discussed, poetry was read but amongst all the theme of identity stood out to me most prominently. For a long time, there was only one correct way of speaking Afrikaans but the language has so many nuances and variations that change was bound to happen.

Influencers and academics are now challenging the fact that there is only one standard form of Afrikaans and dialects such as Kaaps and Namaqua Afrikaans is being celebrated rather than shunned. A great part of what made Smalls’ work so appealing was that he did this through his poetry before it was even considered to be cool with works like Oppie Parara and Dankgabet vannie skollie.

I couldn’t think of better way to remember the man who is now considered a legend in the world of poetry. Nor could I think of a more beautiful backdrop for such an artistic event to take place than at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains in the small town of Pniël.

There was time to mingle with the writers or have your book signed. Honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised that the festival was such a success and I look forward to see what the third running year of the Adam Small Festival has to offer in 2019.

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