Raised in Tottenham, North London, Zena Edwards has become known as one the most unique voices of performance poetry to come out of London. She is also iw for her polemic voice, speaking on panels for climate change and creative campaigning for equality and equitable rights.
Zena has been involved in performance for 20 years – as a writer/poet performer, facilitator, creative project developer and vocalist after graduating from Middlesex University. She recently studied at The London International School for Performing Arts.
She has written and performed two one woman shows “Security” – 2009 and “Travelling Light” – 2011 with a strong self devised education packages, which toured nationally and internationally with quality reviews and critical acclaim.
“Edwards is a superb performer, equally at ease as an elderly Caribbean man, as a would-be teenage MC, Ayleen, or as a lonely 47-year-old Palestinian photographer, Mahmoud.” – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
“Edwards’ one woman show ‘Security’ is an absolute tour de force about
humanity that bonds us all” – Annemarie Kropf
“As a performer and writer, Zena Edwards takes storytelling
into the twenty-first century.” – Pure Poetry
“The Fury Project”, originally commissioned by UK Arts International in 2012, is her longest running project to date. It has manifested as a monologue which toured with the Afro Vibes Festival 2012, supported as an art installation and participation program and clever oration with 3 Faiths Forum and Kings College, London 2014. 2016, Climate of Fear used the thmes Of anger, the body, and memory to explore the social impact of climate change.
As a poet, Zena has travelled extensively round the UK, the US, Africa and Europe collaborating with artists such as Nigerian choreographer Qudus Onikeku and award-winning visual artists, Theaster Gates and toured supporting living legend Hugh Masekela, the Last Poets and Babaa Maal. She has shared the stage and anthologies with some of her most admired predecessors Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, Lemn Sissay, Jean Binta Breeze and Roger McGough.
As a live performance director, Zena was the first woman director at Redbridge Arts collaborating with rising star choreographer Botis Seva, and devised and directed “Climate of Fear” for award winning Manchester Contact’s Young Creatives for the Flying Solo Festival 2016.
Zena is an avid project maker. Click here to see more info on her participatory work exploring art as space dialogue, creating new knowledge around the themes of intergenerationality, womanhood, young adulthood and being and artist in London in the 21st century.
Zena is also Creative Director of ©ViD an umbrella creative arts and activism company and she is core project developer of Voices that Shake! Youth, Race, Media and Power Arts project.