Happy Bank Holiday Monday everyone.
I work from home, so I had no idea it was a bank holiday weekend until Friday afternoon! I hope you’ve had a lovely day off, or had a quiet day if you’ve been working too. Thank you to anyone working on their feet, keeping all ticking over for those enjoying the day off.
Today the BBC took the opportunity to celebrate Young Artists Day, with a series of commissions, programmes, and features. There are interviews with some of the young artists featured here.
As part of the day, there were a collection of Spoken Word pieces commissioned from five young female poets, to write new work tackling a range of themes they have identified as preoccupying young people today, called ‘Women Who Spit.’
I recommend having a listen.
I was lucky enough to see Vanessa Kissule win the 2014 Roundhouse Poetry Slam last year. Myself, and my two friends sat aside, were all willing and crossing fingers that she would win, having watched her perform, and we whooped and cheered and clapped until our palms itched when she did. She too is a Woman Who Spits, asking us to take up more space in the world, and perfectly put, to lose those ghostly question marks from the end of our sentences.
Jemima Foxtrot perfectly plays out that constant conversation between that version of yourself that tries not to care about physical imperfection, the political, patriarchy-smashing strong version of yourself, and the other. The alternative you, appearing whenever you’re placed in front of a mirror, tugging clothes about you, wishing your hair, your skin, your body were different.
Deanna Rodger shows us all the myriad ways in which our city is being designed with hostility and privatised against the people who search for shelter in it, and how we contribute to the collective blindness, following only work, home, work home, work, home, bills, avoiding seeing what, or who, is there around us.
Megan Beech walks us through the BBC building itself, discussing the problem of female representation in the media.
But inching above all the others for me, was Cecilia Knapp’s, ‘Why I Write’. I haven’t heard a better evocation of those first fumbling years living in a big city, punctuated by drinks, strange moments of clarity on concrete flat balconies and in damp living rooms, closeness to others doing the same and strange distance and memories of the home you left behind to be there.
Is there anyone in the world who can’t relate to moving on, going away, because ‘away was where our lives were sposed to change’?