Four spoken word artists captivated an audience with their unique voices, style and stories, bringing to life the realities of fear, battle and beauty, and not conforming to the world’s conventional expectations…
By Dimple Pau
A COLLECTIVE of South Asian women (The Yoni Verse) perform poetry taken from a diverse range of stories and backgrounds, connected to the overall theme of the fear of what people will think and say about diversions from the norm.
Any reputation of poetry not being ‘cool’ is destroyed instantly as each artist uses simply their words to illustrate experiences and stories, in a delivery which keeps every eye locked.
The fluidity between each artist is seamless, covering topics such as domestic abuse, relationships, birth and body image.
Performers were Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi, whose narrative and monologues were fantastically delivered with, at times, a touch of deflating humour.
The line “sitting on the table, sipping Shloer”, is one that will stay with me forever.
Shagufta K’s ‘Jam is for girls, girls get jam’ is heartfelt yet powerful in its depiction of Islamic feminism.
Amani Z Saeed gives every word explicit emotion, commands every syllable and has a presence with the audience like no other.
Finally, Shareefa Energy whose hip-hop style and bold riffs made my brain create an imaginary base and beat.
The Q&A that followed was incredibly insightful and important, with a message for women to validate themselves and their sense of identity in the face of what people say.
AVC Rating ***** (out of five)
Top image: (l-r)Poets Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi, Shagufta K, Amani Z Saeed and Shareefa Energy performed ‘What’ll People Say? Desi Girl Creatives’ at the Southbank Centre as part of Alchemy on Sunday, May 21 2016.
Alchemy at Southbank Centre continues until May 29, see here for more:https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/alchemy