Thursday, 24 July 2014

7 things I've been forwarded and finally had the time to watch...

In the last month or so, I've had a lot on my plate with the end of the school year and WordCup2014 (which was spectacular, by the way!) I've also managed to start getting some kind of balance with work/social life. Not everything starts and end with poetry/poetry education, no matter what anyone else says. You have me on record :)

I've been forwarded a few video links within the last few weeks by different people, for different reasons. I hadn't followed up on any of them properly until now. Nearly all of these have followed on from conversations. Some of them are pretty uncomfortable, and there are places where I don't necessarily agree with the points of view. But I've now had the chance to see these links, it's interesting where some connect with each other.

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Grit your teeth!

Period Poem

So this came from two conversations with a work colleague. We'd been talking gender issues and feminism one time; then another time, when I mentioned the "American Style" of performance poetry she said "I have to show you this link". Period.

There are some gems in there, from, "everybody I love knows how to bleed with me", to "spill your impossible scripture all over the good furniture..." What! Serious.

Ally Fail

J Mase III brings me back to Capturing Fire this year, where he performed this poem (I was on the plane back to London the night of the finals and missed it). Overall lovely person and someone I need to email a bit more than I do, this poem uses some of the tropes you may have heard before - and others you may recognise. Having spent some time with him in DC and London, I found it challenging and uncomfortable, in all the best ways poetry is meant to. 

The Abominable Crime/ Veil of Silence Q&A

I saw the screenings of both films in March (trailer for TAC below) while waiting to rehearse for a show later that evening at the Southbank Centre (talk about maximising my time!). I left before the Q&A but was shaken up by one of the stories in The Abominable Crime and really wanted to see it again when my mind wasn't elsewhere. I mentioned it to a friend about a month ago who emailed me a link to another screening I'd just missed! And then he sent me the Q&A video below.

bell hooks - Are You Still A Slave?

From one form of extreme Oppression, to another with, arguably, a smaller 'o', I was forwarded this link with the excited comment: "This is the one where she calls Beyonce a terrorist!"

A week ago, and I'd just left a talk about sexuality and genetics. One of the women on the panel rubbed me the wrong way and I left angry and vocal about it. A guy who'd also been at the talk came over to where I was noisily spouting my opinion outside and we chatted; the conversation veered onto Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith and back to Beyonce. And somehow, this talk came up. He took my email and sent me the link. Now I've had the time, I wound up watching this last night:

Still processing.

Israel's War on Africans

Israel/Palestine is a hot issue right now and I've been on a protest outside the Israeli embassy this week. And, of course, when the UN recommends investigating possible war crimes in the latest strike on Gaza, we know not much will come of it.

I've had to avoid certain friends on Twitter/Facebook because of ignorant comments. When we're talking others' lives and mass suffering - on both sides - we need to tread carefully. That said, like one of the chants at the protest: "We are all Palestinians". This simply can't go on. 

This wasn't forwarded to me directly, but ended up on my Facebook feed from a writer I admire and respect. So I checked it out, which then led me to the video below it:

When discussing Israel/Palestine, not enough people separate it from Judaism. Agree or not, in this video (below) one group who insist that the Israeli state is, in fact, anti-Jewish share their views. At the protest I went to, I was happy to see a group of Orthodox Jews up on the platform, making the same claim. The more we distance the Jewish religion from Israel (and remember that Palestinians aren't just Muslims, either), the more I think we'll be able to talk about the conflict - and the US/Brit involvement in it - more sensibly.

Before I say any more, I'll have to do my research; I wish more people would do the same.

Ghetto Kids dance to Jambole

I guess this will have to be the "and, finally" story. A friend of mine who often sends me links to things on Whatsapp messenger, which I sometimes don't check for ages sent me this. And the girl in pink at the end made me smile (her moves are easier to copy).

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