Shake! – Surviving the System

For the last 6 years I have been involved in Voices That Shake as a writer, poet, project developer and facilitator. Our next course is ‘#SurvivingTheSystem.’  Each time we do an intensive, I am invited to write a blog. Why Surviving the System, Shake!? So Shake is back! We have been on hiatus for nearly…

What Women Believe – finding our poetry

What do you believe? Take a moment. Sit with that question. Bullet point your conclusions on a piece of paper and ask yourself, “could that change tomorrow?” Every second of the day we are asked to believe in something.  Something nor from us. Particularly as women. Often we are asked to believe in something that…

Voices That Shake goes to the Allied Media Conference 2016!

Shake!: What began as a small pilot project has now become a movement of over 100 young people artists, campaigners, activists and community organisers. Since 2010, the Voices That Shake  Youth Arts and Activism Project has been on a incredible journey raising awareness around the true democratizing of power, community rebuilding, well-being and healing justice,…

Writing Two Poets – Mongiwekhaya & Afruakan

Recently, I was commissioned by the British Council to interview two poets from South Africa. What was interesting was learning two very different approaches the service of spoken word or poetry in performance can offer the artist and the people who encounter this rich literary form. Mongiwekhaya is a subdued, potent spirit. His quietly considered…

Dee Dee’s. Pt 1

London. 2015. Yes, you are seeing right. “Hello Everyone Thank you all for the phone calls, notes, emails, tweets and Facebook message of support we have received regarding the racial abuse we were subject to on Monday 25th May, 2015. On what was supposed to be our break on a Bank Holiday, it was with…

Re-Imagining Arts in Action Program

Last August I was officially jettisoned into the world of community engagement through the arts. I’d already done worked on a project called End of the Rainbow with All Change and Nitro working with families trapped in a refugee loop hole of “no status” where they are not eligible to claim benefit but also not…

LLSB – Long Live Southbank

If you’ve heard about the Long Live Southbank campaign, then you’ll know it was 180,000 members and signatories pushing back against the Southbank Centre, a national arts venue, trying to take over a nation treasure to build coffee shops and schmancy restaurants.  When I heard about the campaign I got it. As a poet, I got…

‘Othered’ Eco-Activism and a Jacket Potato – a poem

In January, fellow poets Sai Murray, Selina Nwulu and I were commissioned to write poetry in response to an event called Weather Fronts exploring the storytelling of climate activism and sustainable futures. The lab-type event hosted by Free Word in Farringdon, London had attracted a healthy number of scientists and writers to see if the…

Spark – Hope in their Hearts

It was quite a daunting ask, for me to be on  panel speaking about something as abstract as ‘hope’. Even as a poet it is hard to steer clear of cliche´s about olive leaves in the beaks of birds on the wing. All we know is that it is something that can be felt  in…