We've been working again with Inkstorm, thinking about what happened on Culture Night and what the event produced, for the poets, for the public and for us. It was a pilot study for both of us to get a sense of how people reacted to the concept and to see what kinds of poems and subjects poeple asked for.
Our main question since has been what can we do with this? We've looked around and noticed frustrations at the lack of reaction to an economic crises that's affecting us all. For example, a seventy-five year old neighbour asked me the other day, why didn't people stand outside the courthouse in solidarity when the lorry driver who drove his cement mixer into government buildings was being sentenced. She was so frustrated at the lack of solidarity and protest. If we are to propose a public intervention, a socially situated art project, is there a place for us to engage in protest?
We're currently playing with a proposal that places itself in the lineage of written and spoken art forms such as Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, from Latin America, which uses audiences reflection and transformation of scenarios to provoke reflection on social conditions; the speeches and communiques of the Mexican social movement Zapatismo, which invokes the power of the word to connect peoples experiences, and the South African praise poet, the Griot, whose sharp eye and voice is trained on their national leaders.
A Poetry Depot for protest....?