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Listen: Winning the War on Words

  • By Lora Christy
  • 24th June 2016
On 4 May 2016, Quilliam Foundation, in collaboration with Free Word, presented an evening of rhyming, rapping and rhythm about radicalisation, race, Islamic State, integration, stereotypes and the story of us. If you missed it, you can catch up by listening to the audio recording below.

Faith and fear do not belong together. At this event, Anthony Anaxagorou, the award-winning poet, debuted a commissioned piece, and other headline acts Joelle Taylor and Adam Kammerling offered us their powerful, creative take. As an emerging artist, Kareem Parkins-Brown also had a few words to say on the matter. Rafiq Richards used humour to explore his Muslim, Indian, British and Caribbean identity. The evening was compered by Moj Taylor, speaker at Push Talks, comedian, writer and producer of ‘The Pursuit of Crappiness’.

Speakers at this event included:

Anthony Anaxagorou is an award-winning poet, prose writer, playwright, performer and educator. He has published eight volumes of poetry, a spoken word EP, a short book of stories and has written for theatre. He is currently the poet in residence at several different schools and his poetry has appeared on various BBC programmes over the past decade.

Adam Kammerling is the UK Hammer & Tongue slam winner for 2012. He performs all over the country as an MC and spoken word artist. Adam has performed at Glastonbury, Latitude and The Big Chill festivals, and in New York, Poland, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Adam was commissioned by the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) to write poetry to time-lapsed video, and featured as a part of the Big Story Festival in 2013. Adam also co-produces Chill Pill events at Soho Theatre and The Albany.

Kareem Parkins-Brown was raised in Grahame Park, North West London, is a member of Burn After Reading and is a former Barbican Young Poet – his work has been described to ‘combine sensitivity and hard hitting wordplay with a style that feels intellectually challenging and raw at the same time.’ More about him and his work can be found on his SoundCloudand Tumblr, and he is on Twitter @kareempb_.

Rafiq Richard is an award-winning writer and actor from South London who has enjoyed success with his one-man shows Walk Like a Black Man and Walk Like a Black-er Man. Rafiq’s shows are alternately funny and daring explorations of his Muslim – Indian, British and Caribbean – identity, and have won critical acclaim at Camden Fringe (“engaging and charming” – Chortle) and Edinburgh Fringe 2012 (“blends drama with stand-up comedy in a very engaging manner” –The Scotsman).

Joelle Taylor is a professional spoken word artist, published poet and playwright, as well as the founder and Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors UK, the national youth slam championships administered by the Poetry Society. She has performed in Zimbabwe and Botswana and at a diverse range of high profile venues including Buckingham Palace and the Royal Festival Hall.

Moj Taylor is a professional stand-up comedian and actor, and an executive of Push, the award-winning independent guide to university and student life. He has won a ScotsmanFringe First award as a performer and is the writer and producer of the award-winning ‘The  Pursuit of Crappiness’. He will be speaking at the Telegraph Festival of Education in 2016. Moj will compere this event. Visit his website at mojtaylor.com.

This event was part of Free Word’s series, Unravelling Europe. Against a backdrop of increasing fragmentation fuelled by anxiety and fear, the conditions and values that underpin our open, democratic societies are under threat. Putting artists at the heart of the discussion, alongside thinkers and speakers from other disciplines, Unravelling Europe sets out to ask: why is this so, what are the consequences and how might we act to counter them?

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