Where I’m Coming From
Word Factory 2017 Apprentice, Durre Shahwar and Hanan Issa, a Cardiff-based, Welsh and Iraqi spoken word poet, have set up ‘Where I’m Coming From’ – a fantastic new series of spoken word and open mic which focuses on BAME writers in Wales.
‘Where I’m Coming From’ was born after conversations with women of colour based in South Wales who felt that most of the open mic events in Wales didn’t quite cater to them for various reasons, be it time, venue, or simply a lack of other BAME people present.
The open mic series that is aimed predominantly but not exclusively at the Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) community of writers and artists in Wales. It is intended to be a safe space where people can share their thoughts/ideas/views through the medium of spoken word, poetry, prose, or something more unconventional.
The aim is to challenge, explore, and deconstruct any topic in an open minded environment. As well as showcasing upcoming BAME creatives, the series will also incorporate talks and debates with the aim of bridging the gap between communities, writers, artists, and organisations. While the focus is on BAME writers, all are welcome, especially to perform at the open mic, or to simply network and collaborate.
The first event at Tramshed Cardiff earlier this month, was attended by nearly 40 people and saw 12 performers participating, including Abeer Ameer and Selena Caemawr. The performers’ topics ranged from race, current politics, sexual assault, to poems about hands and parents and mental health.
Durre and Hanan are already started planning the next event in October, which will be themed around Black History Month.