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…

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,…

Mind Meandering #6 – Happy International Women’s Month

Be your own bright dawn and your own bronzing dusk Love your own onyx shadow and bunished ivory tusk Be the steady hand that holds the quaking other Be the found one to the life you lost Be the open door when hurt closed the heart in your chest Learn to love the very body…

Ekphrasis in Action – An Out-Spoken Masterclass

I have been attempting to vocationally reconcile my love for photography and painting, sketches and imagery with my love of poetic writing and and would be more fitting than to run a masterclass on Ekprhrasis. I’m also in the headspace that art has work to do and I want to see incorporate politically charged with…

Keeping them Alive – 13 Dead, Nothing Said! – The New Cross Fire

On 25th March 1981, 25,000(!) people of African descent from all over the UK marched through the streets of London (imagine this) on Black Liberation Day as a staggering response to the deaths of 13 young people in who attended a birthday party in New Cross today in 1981.

Perception, Power and Race in UK Arts – Trailer

What does it mean to be an Artist of colour, an artist on African descent in the UK? Late 2014, I wrote a blog post in response to the South African theatre-maker Brett Bailey at the height of the UK controversy over his piece, ‘Exhibit B’. A year later, wanting so much to create something…

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…

Boycott an Art Exhibit – Race and Art – Open Letters: 1

Race and the Arts. The present modes for dialoguing about race in the arts served a distinct purpose up until the mid nineties but now they are clunky, many are obsolete in their effectiveness. People of colour are interrogating and refreshing their arts practice all the time but receiving fewer opportunities to flex their creative…

The Poetic Debaters Project

I have been a-brewing a project that I have a deep connection to and I think it’s because it involves all the geeky things that I love to do behind closed doors – reading for research, writing for passion, engagement and education, and devising performance to invigorate and inspire. It has been a project nearly…

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…