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…

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

“MINDING THE PERCEPTION GAP” – a 9 part video critique and commentary of UK arts and its issues of ‘diversity’ – Case study Exhibit B  I have never embarked on a homespun project like this before. Filmed in my front room over a week with shifting light. As the week went on I became a…

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…

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…

States of Violence – Shake 16th Feb 2015

Shake Youth Arts and Activism project has a new intensive course brewing. From Monday 16th February, we shall be unpacking one of the most contentious subjects our species confronts: Violence. We will be exploring what makes violence, physical and ideological, an integral part of modern day life. As a poet I think about the word…

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…

SHAKE! Youth Art and Activism – My Thought on the 3 R’s

I have been working on this incredible youth project for the last four years. Shake! is Platform London’s youth initiative which happen twice a year as a February school’s half-term and August Summer holidays intensive course. They take 6 months to devise with themes I would have been frightened of as teenager, more concerned with…

Shake! Youth Arts, Race, Media and Power Project 2013 Is Go!

I have been a core project consultant and deviser of Platform London’s Youth Project, ‘Shake!’, and finally the time has come for it’s delivery. Shake! has been in development since it’s pilot 2010 and successfully received two years funding thanks to the hard work of Jane Trowell at Platform. I spent a day with the …

Shoot the Messenger

On Sunday 18th, I was invited by Henry Bonsu to be a newspaper reviewing guest on his increasingly popular current affairs program on Vox Africa called “Shoot the Messenger”. It felt like we were just warming up when the 1 hour was over. Many thanks to Henry and Juanna, the STM producer for having me….

The UK “Riot” Maze

My own mixed-feelings and thoughts around the UK riots have been just as compelling to me as the multitude of articles, conferences, panel discussions, arts pieces that have been born from them. I have concluded to think about the riots as a sort of “tilling the soil” for  planting seed of re-imagining, using this ‘opportunity’…

The UK “Riot” Maze

My own mixed-feelings and thoughts around the UK riots have been just as compelling to me as the multitude of articles, conferences, panel discussions, arts pieces that have been born from them. I have concluded to think about the riots as a sort of “tilling the soil” for  planting seed of re-imagining, using this ‘opportunity’…

The UK “Riot” Maze

My own mixed-feelings and thoughts around the UK riots have been just as compelling to me as the multitude of articles, conferences, panel discussions, arts pieces that have been born from them. I have concluded to think about the riots as a sort of “tilling the soil” for  planting seed of re-imagining, using this ‘opportunity’…

Writing for England – a Young Black British perspective

Last month I was privileged to work wth Talawa theatre company on a new Young Peoples Theatre production called “I am England” directed by  Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh. My role was to engage the `Young People (or YPs) with writing, with the narrative of a new young and black british government being elected when the country finds…

MOHAMMED ALI’s – WRITING ON THE WALL

“Com – passion, latin, com – together, passion – suffering together we suffer, we suffer together endeavour to weather the breadth and the depth of the storm For long are the nights for the lost, forlorn, the broken, the tired,  the quietly enraged lashed by the warring that keeps us engaged with  anger and misplaced…

FIGHTING FOR THE BLACK GOLD OF THE SUN

It’s been just over a month since I performed at a gig to raise awareness of the injustice done to Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists, by Shell Oil. I had already written a poem for a Tribute anthology called “Dance the Guns to Silence” with the poem, “Baba Wiwa’s Trees”, in 2006. When…