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Manchester International Festival 2021: Imtiaz Dharker on ‘Poet Slash Artist’ and her new artwork/poem ‘My Breath’ (video)

Manchester International Festival 2021: Imtiaz Dharker on ‘Poet Slash Artist’ and her new artwork/poem ‘My Breath’  (video)

One of Britain’s best-loved poets spoke to us about her latest work which is part of the curated strand ‘Poet Slash Artist’ – part of Manchester International Festival and in display now (July 1-18)…

ARTIST Imtiaz Dharker talks to acv about her work currently on display at Manchester International Festival (July 1-18) and referred to online as #MIF21.

Her work appears as part of a specially curated strand, and as selected by Hans Ulrich Obrist (director of Serpentine Galleries, London) and poet/broadcaster, Lemn Sissay, entitled, ‘Poet Slash Artist’.

This sees some of the country’s leading writers and visual artists combine work that involves both images and words and defies traditional easy genre classifications.

Among those participating in Poet Slash Artist are Lubaina Himid (Turner Prize winner 2017), Tracey Emin, 1999 Turner Prize nominee and one of Britain’s best known visual artists and creatives Inua Ellams and Jay Bernard, who represent a new generation of British writers whose myriad work – from plays to poems and artwork – often crosses traditional boundaries and simple labels.

In this interview, Dharker, talks about these ideas in relation to her original MIF21 poem/artwork, ‘My Breath’ and reads it out aloud at the end.

She also talks to acv’s Suman Bhuchar about her artistic process and how she often sees words and images and how they collapse into each other.

She reveals how her time in India inspired her to see the sharpness and contrast of the sun and its black and white effects and how this is borne out in her sketch work, notebook and final published poetry books.

With thanks to Imtiaz Dharker and Manchester International Festival (Jamie Leah Hargreaves & Oscar Lister)

For the full acv preview of Manchester International Festival, please see

Production credits
A Big Talent Media Production for
Presenter/Producer: Suman Bhuchar (
Camera/Editing: Michael Tsim (

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture