Tag Archives: SHAKE!

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

No Such Thing As Human Rights – Casey Camp-Horinek

In December 2015 Voices that Shake! travelled to the alternative summit at COP 21 in Paris to offer solidarity to indigenous communities fighting for climate justice. This video features a speech extract delivered by Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation and organiser with Indigenous Environmental Network recorded on Human Rights Day, 10th December 2015.

A transcript of the speech is below:

“…We are suffering from environmental genocide where I live. The Occupied Territory of the United States of Amerikkka that belongs to the indigenous nations of the Americas has long understood the policies that have come down.

We have had in the Concho Nation six treaties made, not one has been honoured. So when I hear of a treaty coming out of the UN I understand…

One of my relations told me – and we are all related, I want us to remember that – he said Continue reading

Self-Reparations: Art, Activism & Well-being

Here’s a blogpost I wrote for Voices that Shake! (the youth arts & activism project I help to facilitate) following the latest 5-day intensive course we ran at the Stephen Lawrence Centre.

Once again I was shaken by the Shakers…

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I feel very honoured to be one of the facilitators on this project as the generosity, trust, desire to learn, share, give and work together for change is genuine and inspiring from all.

This is now the 5th Shake! intensive I’ve been a part of and each time we refine the formula with the feedback received in a collaborative process with the participants.

This latest Shake! had some very welcome additions – especially the ‘Well-being workshop’. Mental health and artist/activist burnout has been a topic that has arisen naturally in discussion on previous Shake!s so incorporating a dedicated space and time for us all to skill-share our experiences and feedback coping strategies was very welcome and proved extremely useful. It was important to build up a sense of trust and create a safe space during the week for these reflections to come forth. This list can serve as a resource we can all reference, add to, and develop in the future.

WELLBEING WORKSHOP LIST

There can be a lot of ego and foolishness in the arts world so it has been refreshing to work with such a giving team of artists/activists – it is a revitalising learning experience to be Continue reading

Royal Celebration of Contemporary Poetry

… and Afrobeat, Soul Train and Afro-Disco…

I have accepted my invitation.

Numbi-Afro-ROYAL-invite-WEB

Royal invite

The King:

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The King of Afrobeat

The King (of Afrobeat) will be in conversation with fellow Numbi resident artist Elmi Ali – check Elmi’s review of An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat here.

The night will also featuring Shake! stars:  Onysha D Collins & Annie Rockson fresh from wowing the Free Word crowd at the #Shake2013 #PowerPropagandaPerceptions showcase.

And in a busy day for Shake! poets Annie & Onysha will also be joined by Lucas (of ‘Messy Python’ fame) for a poetry slot with Platform as part of the Live Art Development Agency event I HATE AMERICA! (I Love America).

Groovy.

Power Propaganda Perceptions

Today. Pow.

A showcase of Power>>Propaganda>>Perceptions>> from the participants on the third Shake! course that took place at the Bernie Grants Arts Centre in August 2013.

Featuring freshly created poetic, filmic & musical responses to injustice from:

Poets: Christianah Babjide, Onysha Collins, Zena Edwards, Lucas Kelly, Jordan King-Burrowes, Sai Murray, Charlene Obi, Annie Rockson, Lateef Shofoluwe

Music: Marcina Arnold & Ed Lewis

Film: by Enayet Mannan, Khadiza Shahid, Richard York, Minaz Waris, Hannan Majid, Derek Richard, Minaz Waris, Umaru Saidu

“Reach” premiere of short film supported by HI8US SOUTH and The Rainbow Collective created during the Shake! course. See here for trailer

Featuring panel discussion & Q+A with film creators/Shake! participants.

Check the Shake! blog for more info.

SHOWCASE#3-front-web

Escaping the Mad-Man Jail

As a former practictioner of the dark and dubious ‘art’ that is advertising (12 years in remission and counting…) George Monbiot’s article in the Grauniad: Advertising is a poison that demeans even love – and we’re hooked on it, provides a welcome addition to mainstream attempts at addressing this all-pervasive evil.

Monbiot does acknowledge that his “column is framed by two airline adverts”  (on recent view also a Barclays ad, together with a Join the British Army ad provided by Google…) and further in depth analysis of such issues can, as ever, be found via medialens – an essential antidote to the ad-reliant corporate media – who comment:

“the deeper problem is that advertising is one of a number of filters built into the state-corporate media system that prevent us from accessing corporate unfriendly facts, values and perspectives. People are not even able to see that there are alternatives to materialist happiness. These possibilities are almost completely filtered out, maligned, ignored…” Continue reading

Prepare for Youth Poetry Power

Sticking to the RED theme set up by the first two posts – here’s a very amateur recording of two young poets it was my pleasure to coach at the 2010 Leeds Young Authors 7th Annual Voices of a New Generation Literature Festival and Poetry Slam:

I come back to this video a lot as the poem – written by a 12 and 13 year old before the student protests kicked off in the UK and before the uprisings in the North Afrikan/Arabian World – really speaks to the moment and is a great answer to the false foolish forced Shock Doctrine of big society (sic), privatisation, and cutting of public services. Yes, these young people have no problem in seeing and calling out the Empire as stark raving nekkid.

As a performance poet, this was definitely one of my most spine-tingling, hair-on-end proudest moments and it is gratifying to hear the word-sound power of da yout resonate with a crowd, to offer them a platform to share their knowledge and insight, and a creative outlet for their energy and passion.

Plus as Zena Edwards says of the recent SHAKE! project on which we are fortunate to be poet facilitators: Continue reading