When the Word On The Street bridges the generation gap.
New writers young and old got together to write and perform poetry with a difference at Hull’s Freedom Festival earlier this month.
Residents from the Henry Vernone Court supported housing complex and young people from Goodwin Community College performed in the Speak Out Tent at Freedom Festival 2016, after taking part in Word On The Street poetry workshops.
And one of the people who helped them get from that empty page to the Freedom stage, Hull performance poet Joe Hakim, invited us to share one of the group’s most unique collaborative poems.
Joe said: “English was the second language of a lot of the younger participants, so I got them to work on a couple of lines each, prompted by simple writing exercises based around the concept of Freedom. The poem is called Freedom Is … I hope you enjoy it.”
Words by: Rob Madsen, Abi Smith, Jade Hales, Cara Hales, Hodari, Lul Abdi, Amanda Matongo, Garth Goldfinch, Rinas Mahko, Kirstie McNicholas, Esther Rahema, Connor Marshall
Freedom is a weapon, and wielding that
weapon gives you the chance and the choice,
to reach out to others, to express the voice
that is in all of our minds, realising that
all of us together are one of a kind.
Freedom is having the space to create in,
your own place to feel safe in,
the freedom to exist is the right to
flourish and resist, to overcome the reality
of seeing everyone around me struggling under austerity.
Freedom of speech means having the power
to fill our relationships with positivity,
establishing our solidarity against all
those fools that would try to crush you,
that have no clue what the world looks like to me and you.
Freedom is having nothing, but helping
others anyway, days spent with
each other, listening to music and escaping,
relaxing instead of hating, as we
exchange our ideas, our cultures relating.
I don’t want to believe that freedom is an illusion,
because every time we open our mouths to speak
it’s a revolution: challenging injustice and elitism
in our everyday lives; slipping, hoping, jumping
as time zooms by, understanding there is no divide.
The chains are broken and the clouds have gone,
as I see the shore my freedom lies along.
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