On Our Black-Ish at Poetic Insight

On October 31st, we saw out Black History Month at another special Poetic Insight.  Our theme for the night was Black-Ish, which led to a variety of beautiful, powerful and inspiring poetry delivered by young talent.

First we heard from Nyasha, who returned to the Poetic Insight stage after some time away and celebrated the beauty of natural hair, which I’m sure many females in the audience could relate to.

Poetic Insight regular, Authentic Alanie, shared a poem inspired by two of her favourite things, Autumn and Africa, which resulted in some gorgeous imagery.  Mahmoud took to our stage for the first time, passionately expressing his African heritage and the life he’s living, and also inspired us with a poem he wrote just 15 minutes earlier.

Gus made us all think with a variety of poems, which got deep into the beauty of blackness, and Natalie graced our stage for the first time to remind us that it’s time to unite through a thoughtful spoken word piece.

Sid returned to perform a Poetic Insight favourite, ‘Prayer for the Oppressed’, reminding us of the importance to have consideration, respect and care for all.  Aaron was also back after some time away, sharing a powerful spoken word piece about unhealthy information, while also letting us know that skin colours shouldn’t be divided.

The final performance of the night was from Annotate, who brought the house down with a spoken word piece about the divides and horror of humanity.  It was fire.

However, what made the night even more special was a point of poignancy from Stephen, who urged us to reach out and speak to the teenagers around us in a bid to ease some of the tensions in society.  He emphasised the point with a personal anecdote of his own, which moved all of us and caused us to think about what we could do to make a little difference in our community.

Moments like this are what Young People Insight is all about as we work towards being the change we want to see.

Poetic Insight returns on November 28th when the theme will be Relationships, which is open to interpretation – relationships aren’t always about romance after all.  Save the date and if you’re a young poet or spoken word artist wanting to perform, email me at shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk or send a message to 07910092565.

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.

The Complete Freedom of Truth Landing in Croydon

As you may remember from previous posts, I have participated in the international youth project, The Complete Freedom of Truth (TCFT), by attending three residencies in the past two years.

I’ve been fortunate enough to immerse myself in creativity and meet the most amazing group of people from around Europe and beyond, in the towns of Srebrenica (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Bournemouth (UK) and Sarteano (Italy).  Each residency was different, but always special and a truly rewarding experience.

Image by Robert Golden and used with permission.

TCFT changed my life in a number ways.  Most significantly, it gave me the final spurt of courage I needed to launch Young People Insight as a physical platform and also influenced the way that it has evolved, particularly in the creative sense.  However, just having an influence or bringing an essence of TCFT to Croydon isn’t enough – I actually want young people to gain the TCFT experience that I did.

This is why I’m excited to be bringing TCFT to Croydon!  

On Sunday 20th August, myself and another Croydon based participant, Naomi, will be facilitating TCFT Croydon, a one day pilot project, giving young people a taste of TCFT.  It will also allow us to see if there is a wider want for TCFT in Croydon, and if it all works out, more and longer length TCFT projects, workshops and residencies will be coming to the borough.

The theme for the day will be Unity, and young people, aged 15-26, will be able to participate in a  creative workshop of their choice in either Matthews Yard, Project B or Turf Projects.  They can choose from Art, Drama, Music, Photography or Poetry, which will give them the chance to let their creative juices flow and develop skills along the way.

An important element of TCFT is creating change and encouraging “a vision of an equal, inclusive and truly democratic society”, which is why a discussion element will also take place.  And to conclude the day, any work created by the young participants will be shared at Braithwaite Hall (Croydon Clock tower) in the evening, which members of the community are invited to attend.

Photo by Robert Golden and used with permission.

This is going to be a fun-filled, inclusive day, which could be the start of something truly great for Croydon and even South London as a whole.  It is also a day of opportunities for young people, as they never know where participating in this project may lead.  I can honestly say that I would not be the same person without TCFT.

If you would like to be part of the first ever TCFT Croydon – don’t worry, you don’t have to be from Croydon – sign up here: http://thecompletefreedomoftruth.com/croydon