For few months I have had the pleasure of working on a project called Shake The Dust which is a poetry slam initiative. I was working with the Manchester Old Trafford Young Identity Branch led by Poet and MC Frisko (Ali Gadema) http://www.shakethedust.co.uk/shaker/teams/north-west/
He’s probably one of the most passionate men I have met in my entire life. I have always been into lyrics and how some are used in songs and others are conveyed through the page or through spoken word. I was surprised how much this event touched me. Each region from the North West to the South East was represented by a school or youth group. It took place in London at Southbank Centre. You would think it would be competitive, but everyone was just happy to be a part of this event – as was I.
Some of these young people had never been to London and this was a moment they got to say what is on their mind in front of 900 plus people.
The strap line for this event was ‘The points are no the point, the point is the poetry’.
For me this is real power. A revolution is brewing and we should take heed of all expression as poetics are very important in music. I feel blessed to be a part of it and I look forward to more of the same. I saw some great poets who have changed my life within an instant and that is not easy from a sceptic such as myself: yet as I live and breathe it is so.
Another highlight of the weekend was meeting and watching First Wave perform – these guys are doing some great things in The States. Check out the link http://omai.wisc.edu/. Empowering stuff right there!
There was a real sense of community that everyone: from poet coaches, shadows, and the young people involved mixing so well with each other that many people forgot it was an actually competition.
Everyday there was something inspiring be it workshops, ciphers or just chilling out with someone from the poetry community.
The end of the show was perfectly signalled by the songs of Speech Debelle
Please check out these artists as they have changed everything for these young people as well as myself .
Kate Tempest http://katetempest.co.uk/audio
Saul Williams http://www.saulwilliams.com/