Guest Post: Insight into Culture Through Spoken Word

We’ll be talking culture next Tuesday at The Kickback, so in the lead up to our conversation, I wanted to have another voice outside of mine to have their say on culture.  Usaama Minhas has performed a number of spoken word pieces and related to culture.  Below is a selection of some of those pieces with his own commentary to tie them all together.

“You Don’t Always Have To Know Your Favourite Colour” offers an amusing insight into pursuing the Arts as a young person that comes from an immigrant background, where a career in theatre, music, poetry, photography and other mediums is not always encouraged.

 

Departing from that introspection, in “Renaissance”, Usaama tackles the culture of Hip Hop and the art of Emceein’, drawing parallels at many points between moments of turmoil in his personal life with his analysis of the game and the industry.

 

“What I Am Not” demolishes various minority stereotypes in a post-Brexit, post-Trump, increasingly Islamophobic and racist world. The poem offers humour, insight and hard-hitting truths.

 

On the other hand, in his first song release in four years, in “Why” Usaama departs from humour, conjecture, absurd lyricism, and speaks his mind in the most simple words and melodies, reflecting on Islamophobia, racism and police brutality.

And the new name is…

As you probably know, one of the key changes I have wanted to make to Young People Insight is the name of the YP Insight Forums.

I think that the term forum can come across as quite formal to some young people, which is not the impression I want you to have – these are relaxed, informal conversations giving you the chance to speak your mind.  I also get a little confused when I see the term forum myself, as it can mean a number of different things or take various forms, so it is definitely time for a change.

After asking for your name suggestions, I shortlisted four of my favourites, which I also believed would have an impact when marketing these events.  The four I chose were:

  • Woke Nights
  • The Kickback
  • The Chat Room
  • Free Your Mind

Once I’d made my choices, it was of the utmost importance that the final decision be made by you, so I started a Twitter poll that would give you the chance to vote for your favourites over the course of a week.

It was interesting to watch the changing trends, with Woke Nights starting out in front before Free Your Mind crept up to take the lead, which then had to fight it out with The Kickback.  Weirdly enough tough, Woke Nights finished with the lowest votes, even behind The Chat Room, which never led once.

However, I am happy to announce The Kickback as the winner, which will be the newest addition to our repertoire of names that of course includes Poetic Insight, Come Out to Play and Get Together.

Thank you to everyone who suggested names and also to everyone who voted – it would also be great to know whoever it was who suggested The Kickback in the first place, so send us a DM or email shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk

Now all there is to say is see you at The Kickback on October 24th when we’ll be talking all about Culture.  I for one can’t wait.

What’s Coming Up in October

I want to start off by saying ‘Happy Black History Month’ to all of you and I hope you’ve been enjoying the beginning of Autumn.  After taking time out and enjoying some much-needed reflection time, which you can read a little about here, I’m back and ready to go with more Young People Insight activities.

October is shaping up to be a busy month for me personally, with the start of a protest poetry course at the Roundhouse, getting involved in a knife crime campaign with Croydon Council and also a projection project for the festive season, alongside some of the amazing poets from Poetic Insight.

I’m also humbled and excited to have been selected as a finalist in the 2017 Mayor of Croydon Civic Awards in the category of Young Achiever of the Year.  The awards ceremony will take place on October 17th when the winners will be announced, so I’ll keep you updated on how I do.

Of course, the regular YP Insight events are coming up too, which you definitely will not want to miss out on.  The Civic Awards ceremony falling on the 17th has meant that I’ve pushed back our conversation about culture to October 24th, so make a note of the change in your diaries.

The topic of Culture – when we’ll be joined by a guest speaker – is set to be an incredibly interesting one and I’m sure that it will be a conversation that will take a number of twists and turn.  As you can see on the flyer above, the name for our forums is still a mystery, because I want the final choice to be yours.

Please take a second to choose your favourite name by answering our Twitter poll or let me know your choice on the comment section below.  I want this to be a collective decision, so your vote is essential.

The name may be different, but the time and location will be the same, so join us on October 24th from 6.30-8.30pm in Project B when we’ll be talking all about Culture.  You can register for the event here: http://bit.ly/letstalkaboutculture

Poetic Insight returns too and I cannot wait!  Since it is Black History Month, the theme for the night will be Black-Ish, so if you’re a young poet or spoken word artist, get ready to make a statement and speak out on any ‘ish’ related to being black.  If you want to perform, send a message to 07910092565 or get in touch with us on social media.

We’re at the usual location of Project B from 7-9pm, so make a note and don’t miss it.  It is gonna be a beautiful, powerful night.  Register for your free tickets here: http://bit.ly/poeticinsight-black-ish

As you can probably tell, I’m excited to be back and immersing myself in everything that is coming up.  I’m looking forward to connecting with all of the familiar faces and new faces too, because you are at the centre of all I do and you make it worthwhile.  See you soon.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.