We continued this month’s focus on violence at Poetic Insight on April 24th, which brought together powerful poetry with more compelling conversation.
Mahmoud returned to the Poetic Insight stage, again sharing poetry he wrote after getting inspired on the night. He dropped some strong, thought-provoking lines with his own style.
Paul Point graced our stage for the first time, leaving us in awe through his powerful delivery and masterful wordplay, taking us through stories in poetic form.
We were also joined by Sarah Jones MP, who spoke about the work she does and engaged in a conversation with us about youth violence. One of the initial things she touched on was the barriers between young people and the police, with a lot still needing to be done to break these barriers down.
Sarah asked us about what we could possibly do or what we think could be done to address the issue of youth violence. Renee expressed that people want to be involved in the community, but sometimes they don’t know how. However, she did share some ways that members of the community could get involved, particularly through an initiative she is developing as part of her organisation, Croydon Community Leaders.
Mahmoud asked, “How will young people like me have a voice?” Sarah was adamant that young people need to be part of every decision that is made when decisions are being made about young people, referencing panels that take place to discuss young people, but have no young people on the panel.
A number of interesting points were made regarding prisons – “Some young people spoke about how prison was a break for them,” said Sarah – how we interact with young people, the services available to them and how we make information about those services available, as well as some of the root causes – “There are connectors that are much more important than the colour of your skin,” said Sarah.
To end, I shared a poem I wrote especially for the night, comparing the violence in our city to a war zone. However, I want to leave you with Sarah’s words, “This is the start of tackling a problem that is at a record high.”
Poetic Insight is back on May 29th when the theme will be ‘Mental Health’. Last year was really special, so save the date because you will not want to miss it. We’ll be at Project B of our usual time of 7-9pm. If you would like to perform, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in contact through social media.
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