Category Archives: Mental Fights

Writing and Repair – A Healing Justice Conversation

Ahead of the first in the series of Healing Arts workshops, run by Voices That Shake!’s Healing Justice collective, here’s some nourishing quotes from writers on the healing power of writing: a conversation between Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, bell hooks, Toni Cade Bambara, Toni Morrison, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Junot Díaz and others.

And a link to the essay that derives one of my favourite go-to quotes (which I’ve possibly mentioned on every single Shake! course is also up here: “Creativity is the Immune System of the Mind…”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


bell hooks:
Writing is my passion. It is a way to experience the ecstatic. The root understanding of the word ecstasy—“to stand outside”—comes to me in those moments when I am immersed so deeply in the act of thinking and writing that everything else, even flesh, falls away.

Arthur Koestler: There is no sharp dividing line between self-repair and self realisation. All creative activity is a kind of do-it-yourself therapy, an attempt to come to terms with traumatising challenges

Toni Morrison: There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.

Maya Angelou: When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I’m trying for that. But I’m also trying for the language. I’m trying to see how it can really sound. I really love language. I love it for wate it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and delicacies of our existence. And then it allows us to laugh, allows us to show wit. Real wit is shown in language. We need language.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Creativity is the Immune System of the Mind…

Continent Chop Chop director Amanda Huxtable recently invited contributions for her Pearl’s Project with Huddersfield Literature Festival. Inspired by Maya Angelou, Amanda’s call was for people to share their pearls – “something you have kept with you ever since you first read it… a line from a novel, a poem or non fiction. It’s precious, it’s powerful. It leaves nothing unsaid in only a few words. Words powerful, strong and as precious as any pearl could be”.

Here’s mine that I hold dear from good friend, writer, artist and founder of Artists in Mind, John Holt:

 

Creativity is the immune system of the mind and the source of the mythic.”

 

Continue reading

A Reminder for Our Liberal Selves

A Reminder for Our Liberal Selves:

Black people are systematically destroyed by the media and the marketers

as well as by police bullets.

Black voices are destroyed by well-meaning White voices

We do know… it’s Christmas
We know what time it is
We have known the time, calculated the time
lived in rhythm with the moon cycle and seasons for millennia

We are best placed to speak on “Black issues”
We are also well placed to speak on issues other than “Black issues”

For as we know
as we have been forced to learn,
forced to abandon our languages, adopt and adapt new ones:
the oppressed will always know more about their oppressor
than the oppressor can ever know about them.

So we do not let Black faces on stage fool us
into believing power structures have fundamentally changed

Black faces in the boardroom
Black faces in the White House
In ‘liberal’ newspapers
Fronting TV shows…
Black faces in uniform.

And if the White Supremacist structure of the White House
the boardroom, the entertainment industry, the news media,
remains intact
how far can Black Words within these platforms make a difference?

Can we use the master’s tools to knock down and build new houses?

Can Black words in well-meaning well-read media platforms

breathe

surrounded by ads for corporations that continue to profit from our deaths…?

bwm

Mental Fights #3: Climate Change Conversations. And Questions…

The TippingPoint Weatherfronts event posed certain questions:
What is the role of the writer in addressing climate change? What kind of story is climate change? And inspired more: Who gets to tell this story? Whose voices are negated? And how can we approach climate change from a climate justice and reparations angle?

From my latest Sable Litmag column:

Climate Change Conversations. And Questions…

 

Gambia boat

Mental Fights#2: To MBE or not to MBE

My second Arts and Politics column now up on Sable Litmag:

To MBE Or Not To MBE

With all the Royal Family ‘news’ last year it was refreshing to witness another marriage – the successful pairing of arts and politics that was Jonzi D’s creative response to receiving a letter from the Queen [read more…]

BoT-crown smash

Mental Fights#1: From Advertising to Anarchism

Here’s an edited extract from my first column for Sable Litmag as Arts & Politics editor:

From Advertising to Anarchism

Afloat in an ocean of gigabytes, lessons from history slip through our wireless nets. Instead, we climb aboard celebrity-captained Titanics, happy to Harlem Shake, tweet and twerk the night away, pausing only to chip a little iceberg into our drinks...

“Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century”, so says Mr Marshall Mcluhan… For most of my adolescence and into my early twenties I was fully onboard with this appraisal of the dark arts…

However, something ended up going right.


>> Read the full article over at Sable’s E-Mag here.

SABLE-LOGO-black