Amal supported the Anti-Tribalism Movement to design a series of spoken word workshops for young people to interact and get creative, providing a safe space for them to write on a host of topics. The result was The Verse Club, 30 weekly poetry workshops over four cohorts, held at the Poetry Society and four performance nights hosted at the Bush Theatre and the Brixton Pound Café in London for more than 115 participants of all skill levels.
The Verse Club was facilitated by female trio Neimo Askar, Fahima Hersi and Ayaan Abdullahi who had all previously had their skills nurtured through The Writers Realm, poetry and performance programme run by the Anti-Tribalism Movement and supported by Amal in 2017. Watch a short video on The Writers Realm here.
Established poets and musicians took part in the performance nights alongside the participants providing them with the confidence to perform alongside their peers and role models in front of an audience. Contributing artists included Rakeya Fetuga, SHEZ, and Oshanti Ahmed among many. A number of the participants from the workshops have gone on to participate in competitions and artist collectives.
The Anti-Tribalism Movement is a non-profit organisation tasked with promoting a more fair and equitable society and educating people from primarily Somali communities, on the effects of tribalism in the UK and abroad.
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This article was published during the Amal Programme, a programme of the Saïd Foundation from 2018 – 2021. The Programme awarded grants in the UK in support of a rich diversity of arts projects and activities that helped to increase understanding of the UK’s Muslim communities among people of other faiths and none and to foster a stronger sense of belonging among its Muslim communities. For more about the Programme, see our Amal Programme Findings Report here.