The whole SLAMbassador team of poets and rappers have been hitting the roads around the east of London over the last few weeks, out with their pens correcting graffiti and talent scouting.
SLAMbassadors UK in collaboration with Tower Hamlets Library Service have returned to the borough, hunting for new spoken word artists to nurture over the coming years. So far we have paid visits to Langdon Park School, Stepney Green School Morpeth School and Swanlea – and future class room invasions are planned at Mulberry Girls, Raines Foundation School, Oaklands School and Sir John Cass School. All of the workshops last 2 days, allowing breathing space in the curriculum for creative exploration of the theme of Identity.
Regular readers of this blog will know that the driving ethic behind SLAMbassadors is free speech, and the giving back of voices to the silenced. Young people are silenced not only by inarticulacy but by experience. This is their opportunity to think clearly about those experiences and put them in to words. It is their opportunity to answer back. More than that it is a way of young people helping each other overcome issues and more widely to re-write the world. So far, workshops have resulted in poems and spoken word pieces addressing global problems that are relevant to the students of Tower Hamlets – Palestine, racism, Islamaphobia, conflict across the
iddle East, and gender inequalities to name a few, along with accounts of the effects of divorce or the loss of a parent. They are each powerful and direct expressions of the self.
Three students from each of the schools will be invited to take part in a dynamic showcase of their talent, representing their schools at a live event on July 4th in Soho Theatre, Dean Street, West End. They will be joined on stage by stars of the spoken word – to be announced nearer the time.
They have been perfect to work with – thank you young people of Tower Hamlets.
All the films will be uploaded to the Poetry Society’s You Tube page. Have a look. They are wicked.