Spotlight on Spoken Word Artists, by Feaben.
Waking up the city with thought provoking and emotive spoken word poetry, check out this go-to list of young female performers in Melbourne. Each artist puts forth their own unique lens on floating social constructs like identity, culture, and the barriers they face as diverse women in Australia.
“I gave affirmations the way I breathed into this 3D reality, how canny is spring in late November meeting such an air about her fire-,..” Fatma Hussein (read full piece, here)
1. Fatma Hussein is a spoken word artist of Kenyan descent. Her poetry delves into dialogue about her mental health, identity and past and present conversations and thoughts. She has performed her poetry at ‘Sapologie’ African Festival, featured at Afrohub, youth festivals among others and was a MAV guest speaker. Engage in and continue the conversation she begins, here.
2. Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa is a first generation Australian Sikh spoken word artist, educator, performer & human rights reformer based in Melbourne. Sukhjit has played an active role within the not-for-profit space and actively supports young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds among other communities. Sukhjit acknowledges the importance of visibility in performing arts and inherently merges her advocacy background with the arts. See Sukhjit’s thought provoking performance that grabbed the nation’s attention at Australia’s got talent.
3. Amal Ibrahim is a Somali writer and educator based in Melbourne. Her work explores the way identities intimately intersect. She also delves into womanhood, story-telling family relationships, love and culture. She has read her work at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, the Digital Writer’s festival and the Emerging Writers festival, among others. See below for a glimpse of one of her sublime pieces.
Listening to this clip in the office, we were blown away by the way she captures a common experience of reaching for connection. Her voice is melodic and soft, but her words cut straight through. Listen below.
“My father plays hide and seek
I have spent my whole life wearing his eyes but never seeing him….”
4. Idil Ali is a Somali spoken word artist based in Melbourne. Idil uses story telling to explore constructs of community, culture, displacement and resistance. She utilises language, movement, and rhythmic patterns and pace to pay homage to her homeland her herself.
See an early performance of hers below to see a little of the world she paints.
“The only thing I’m sure of is my uncertainty.” - Idil Ali
These words and the women behind them help open minds, I hope it encourages you to share your lived experience in your own style. Got some work or a name to share? Comment below.