SAT. April 22, at 4:30PM | Peace Café "Confrontation, Resilience, and Reconciliation" with
Torsten Tebogo Rybka, on stage is known as Clear. He is a lyricist, photographer, producer, mentor, and poet born in Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa and raised by his parents and siblings. Since 2007 he has been part of and a leader in many art movements and poetry societies in the City of Tshwane, South Africa. In 2014, he started a poetry movement known as “U R WHAT U SPIT” with the aim to make social change through the medium of spoken word poetry and music. In 2013 he released an EP consisting of 7 tracks (4 hip-hop tracks and 3 spoken word poems). That EP gave him a break through to perform on stages such as “The Night of the Poets” at the South African State Theatre, Department of Arts and Culture events, and other poetry movements in and around Tshwane. A year later he released a single spoken word track “Walk a mile in my shoes,” and in the following year released the hip-hop single “Why I Write.” In 2016 Clear produced, directed, and performed in a feature-length poetry production titled “Speaking from Experience (Growth)” at the South African State Theatre, with accompaniment by a jazz band and four vocalists, as part of the poetry incubator program at the South African State Theatre. He is a rising star of Tshwane’s spoken word scene and in 2017 is traveling to the United States for the first time to perform in and tour Washington, DC.
Jonathan B. Tucker (JBT) is a poet, educator, performer, and DJ. He has received numerous grants, awards, and artist fellowships from institutions such as the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, and has performed and taught at universities, libraries, detention centers, and museums around the world. His poems have appeared in Howard University’s Amistad Journal alongside the late Amiri Baraka (Howard University, 2011), in Etan Thomas’s anthology Voices of the Future (Haymarket Books, 2012), Poets’ America (Hidden Clearing Books, 2014), and Beltway Poetry Quarterly (Beltway Poetry, 2016).
JBT has been working with young people for over a decade, using his passion for social justice movements, creative writing, performance, and community organizing to motivate and inspire hundreds of students. Formerly the Program Instructor for Operation Understanding DC, a cross-cultural, leadership development program for Black and Jewish high school students, Jonathan is a trained facilitator and has led numerous trips studying the Civil Rights Movement. Born in Washington, DC and raised in Crofton, MD by two career educators, JBT has been an anti-war and human rights activist since 2002 when he joined Boston Mobilization while studying at Boston University. Leading workshops in local high schools on racism, sexism, and the military industrial complex, Boston Mobilization was JBT’s introduction to the nonprofit world of youth programs. At the University of Maryland, College Park, he co-founded TerPoets, a poetry and spoken word student group that hosts open mics and books touring poets for large shows on campus. TerPoets is part of the Jimenez-Porter’s Writers’ House, a living/learning program at UMD, and is still running strong to this day. He graduated cum laude with honors and two bachelor’s degrees (Sociology and Political Science) and was selected to deliver the commencement speech for the college of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
In 2013, 2015, and 2016 JBT won Sister Cities International Arts Grants to bring young poets from Washington, DC to the city of Tshwane, South Africa for poetry and social justice tours of the historic capital city. He performed with his students at the South African State Theatre and led workshops in local townships. In 2012 he was a featured speaker at Lund University in Sweden, and in 2013 he brought two students to Sweden to feature at the Streetposia Conference sponsored by the Lund Center for Middle East Studies. In 2014 JBT was hired as a consultant for the YoungArts Foundation to help coach the United States Presidential Scholars in the Arts awards recipients. He has led workshops and spoken on panels at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) national conference, The Limmud Jewish Learning Festival, The Split This Rock Poetry Festival, and numerous universities across the country and world.