I wrestled with a few demons, (some so old I consider them annoying acquaintances, when very lonely, friends) to make it to the ‘I Shape Beauty’ poetry and visual art workshop/s last week in Brixton. Demons are very clever. To say they’d been trying to talk me out of it a week ahead would be and understatement. They had been screaming me out of it. ‘So you’re going to be naked, literally and emotionally in front of everyone?’ Even at the last minute they tried to delay my train, got me lost so long down side streets I couldn’t find the workshop venue, I was ready to give up and go home. Demons will make things look like they ‘just weren’t meant to be. I’ll go next time’ if you let them.
I made it. Despite them. Despite myself. And it was a beautiful, harrowing, haunting, hurting and healing experience. I don’t think I have ever been as honest in my life as I was with a room full of perfect strangers (perfect, less cliché moreso literal in this case.) Which says a lot. About the price of honesty, the state of the world, about the state of my honesty most probably.
I Shape Beauty was a vital project for me personally to be involved in. I Shape Beauty is a vital project (space, forum, haven) for young women of colour full stop. Indigo Williams and Lesley Asare ran the workshops from their hearts. My fellow workshop participants, the young women I was blessed enough to meet were so brave and beautiful. Their stories and truths were mine and mine theirs, or the air’s, for the taking, once shared, because once secrets are spoken they are released and a power of theirs is diminished. Left out for the dogs or the demons, who cares because when leaving that place we were free and powerful women, unburdened finally. I sat on the tube home with legs, arms and smile spread because it was ok to take up space. It IS ok to take up space. Repeat. This space is mine. My body is mine and no one else’s.
The I Shape Beauty/ A Different Mirror Exhibition of our Souls, our Poetry, our Body casts and other creative work will take place this weekend at Brixton East Gallery, SW9 7JF
Using film, visual art, dance and poetry, A Different Mirror provides a platform for Women of Colour artists to explore the conflicts about how we see ourselves versus how we are seen.
The 3 day exhibition and educational activities confront these crucial questions about the systems or structures that shape our relationship to our bodies and its connection to our identities. It holds up a mirror to see and know ourselves differently.
For more info or to get involved in future projects visit: