Born :: Free Poetry – Belinda Zhawi & Chima Nsoedo
Born :: Free Fridays started at LimeWharf in 2014, curated & hosted by Belinda Zhawi & Chima Nsoedo, the early evening experiment/ poetry chill session ran for a year until it became too large for the space.
Since this time Belinda has been announced as The ICA associate poet 2016-2017
The ICA is delighted to announce Belinda Zhawi as the new Associate Poet from Autumn 2016 to
Spring 2017. Following the Associate Artist programme that includes NTS, PAN, JUST JAM and 6a
Architects, Zhawi will take over from previous Associate Poets, Sophie Collins and Kayo Chingonyi,
and devise a programme of talks, poetry readings and performances to take place at the ICA
throughout the coming year. As a response to the growing intersection between art and poetry today,
the Associate Poet programme continues the heritage of engagement with language and poetry
prevalent throughout the ICA’s 70 year history. Four of the ICA’s founders – Geoffrey Grigson, E. L. T.
Mesens, Roland Penrose and Herbert Read – were poets; a particular interest which was reflected in
the ICA’s programme in the early stages of its history.
Belinda Zhawi, commented: “As a Black African migrant woman writer living in London I’m
interested in exploring hidden and marginalised narratives that are part of what makes London. It will
be an interesting year of exploring ideas around home, displacement and migration through art,
workshops, talks and discussions. This will be a chance to see what poetry and spoken word can
contribute to all this unpacking.
Belinda Zhawi is a Zimbabwean born writer and educator who lives and works in London. Her work
mostly focuses on memories of living in rural and urban Zimbabwe. She has performed across the UK
in numerous venues, festivals and events including at Africa Writes, Bestival, TATE with her work
published in the anthologies Liminal Animals and Casagrande: Rain Of Poems. In 2013, Zhawi
featured on Channel 4’s Random Acts and has also co-founded the monthly poetry night,
BORN::FREE. Zhawi was recently shortlisted for 2015/16 Young Poet Laureate’s London role.
Perhaps the spirit of the new black romantics is best captured by 24-year-old performance poet Belinda Zhawi: “It’s about being black and being crazy, fabulous and awesome. People now are just doing their thing and are proud of it.” Belinda’s thing is writing. “The way I see it I’m not consciously writing a black story, I am writing my story and I am black African … The literature provided in school didn’t relate to me. Reading poets like John Agard gave me the power to tell my story and it’s a black story – of London and my Zimbabwean childhood.”
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- Date :
Aug . 17 . 2014