In the lead up to Tuesday’s Poetic Insight, when the theme is Youth Violence, Shaniqua speaks about why it is important to her through writing and spoken word.
As you probably know by now, we’re focusing on youth violence this month at YPI, which is something that I hold close to my heart and want to put in work to address; not because I’ve been directly affected by or lost someone to youth violence, but because it does personally affect every single one of us. It affects our communities, where we call home and the upcoming generation of adults.
It is one of the symptoms of the many diseases plaguing our fractured system and broken society, unnecessarily taking the lives of so many young people, leaving all of us with questions. We watch on in horror, shock and bewilderment, until the point when many become apathetic and desensitised to it all, which is just as sad as the acts themselves. We cannot become so desensitised to violence that it becomes normal, because nothing about it is normal.
There are many contributing factors to youth violence, which was a continuous conversational thread at The Kickback a few days ago, making it so difficult to effectively address, because there is no one size fits all solution. What is key is that we listen to the young people, especially those caught up in it.
The Kickback is done, but we have Poetic Insight next Tuesday, when the focus will still be on youth violence, so please share and invite any young people who would want to share their poetry or experiences, and come along to hear from the young people themselves, as it is not commonplace at all.
To get you ready for Poetic Insight, have a watch of my spoken word poem about youth violence, War Zone. This piece comes from a deep and special place in my heart, so I hope you feel where I’m coming from and that I will see you at Poetic Insight on Tuesday 25th June at Urban Xchange Bar and Grill in Croydon.