I’ve been visiting my family in Muscat the past week and a bit so sorry for the lull in posts! Here are some shots from my final trip here before my parents move back to England.
I’ve spent 3 years loving this country and am really sad to say goodbye to it (for now). I’ve learnt a lot here, challenged myself and just grown in general from being out here. Thank you Oman for being such a welcoming, beautiful and varied place!
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque gardens, Muscat
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat
Gulf ofMusca, Muscat
Al Ameen Mosque, Muscat
Al Ameen Mosque, Muscat
I have been working on a film for the past few months that focuses on life as an abuse survivor. This film means so much to me and I am so honoured to have been able to produce it with the incredible team Jam St. Jam St. were formed as part of the Creative Breaks project hosted by Panda and Union Street media in Manchester – two incredible projects supporting artists.
I wrote a little about the film for the presentation, please see that below. Otherwise, I give you… ‘You, the Silence and I’.
When Amy approached me with the opportunity to make a film about something I had been writing about for most of my time as a performer I was confused. I was scared, I was intimidated but I was excited. So excited. I saw what became ‘You, the Silence and I’ as an opportunity to really give some visibility to the reality of abuse, particularly as a male abuse survivor, in the Manchester community. I knew it was going to be excruciating at times, having to confront a lot of things I had tried to ignore since I left my abuser but I thought I owed it to myself. I always say that if one abuse survivor hears my pieces and realises that they weren’t, and aren’t, ‘a fuck up’ then I have done what I aimed to do. I do not speak for all abuse survivors but I have a voice that I wanted to put to use. The opportunity to actually bring my goals to life in a completely different medium, with a group of supportive, talented and lovely creatives was something I could not turn down. I went into ‘You, the Silence and I’ expecting to learn and hoping to understand my situation better. It became much more than that.
During and after filming/creating the film I got to speak to people about my experiences and understand how I saw myself as a performer and writer. I had an interesting moment with Jo, our director, when I realised that the poem was the first time I had ever written directly to my abuser. It was cathartic getting to say to him ‘I felt screwed up for so long because of you and now I don’t and I see what was happening between us now and that is over’. I cannot thank Jam St enough for what this film has done for me. Without it, I would not have gotten to experience the creative process in a completely different way and in a team. I am lucky to say I have worked with each member of the group and I know that I will be working with them in the future. A massive thank you to Panda for giving them the opportunity to contribute to ‘Creative Breaks’ and allowing me to connect with the wider creative community in Manchester whilst really growing from the experience.
One big, final cheesy thank you to every member of Jam St for letting me come on board and be myself. Amy, Jo, Morgz, Tom and Sonia you are fantastic creatives and anyone you work with in the future is beyond lucky to have you on their team!
I had the absolute pleasure of going to Evidently Salford at the Eagle Inn, Salford last month! They just uploaded a video of me performing ‘Cake and Biriyani’. This video is a piece about the last night my boyfriend and I spent together before he had to go back to his home country. Hope you guys like it!
Dearest, when the world is watching
I will climb to the highest point,
use petrol to mark a path to me.
I’m not hiding anymore.
I’ll use our spark to light it,
burning myself into your home,
flirting between the broken bars,
and shut-down shops.
As it all comes together,
when the fires unite into a pyre
built from burst tyres,
splintered wood and cracked windows
lie down in the embers,
you are the widow,
our love, the deceased.
We might be extinguished
but these fires don’t need fuel,
watch me burn your city down.
‘Wow, this is just what I wanted, thank you!’
You thought I’d bought you the watch because it was perfect for you.
Really, I’d bought it as a commentary on how we, as humans, needlessly contribute to the consumerist agenda that we half-heartedly dress as a family-friendly holiday to celebrate the birth of someone most of us don’t believe in. How, every year without fail, we imbue the spiritual skeleton of someone none of us knew so we can get a new dress, console or hi-tech blender.
But hey, I guess it’s a win-win.
It’s been so long
since we last spoke;
the words that fell withered
never even met your deaf ears.
I grew to know the silence as you,
so I sat with it
until it was the only thing that remained.
In place of you
the silence became my lover
and I learnt every muffled confession by heart.
When I embraced the silence
I tasted you there,
mixed in with my fear.
You filled my body
and I reeked of you.
I wore the silence like armour
worried that if I spoke and broke it,
you’d come back.
It protected me from
realities I was scared to
whisper into existence.
Excerpt from a piece I’ve been working on for a poetry film for a festival in mid December!