Thursday, 31 October 2013

Mista Vee on Shake! Showcase #3 Propaganda! Perception! & Power!


"Shake is a sensational experience based on a program that encourages young people to take to the stage and let their voices be heard. I was blown away by the talent. Shake sparks a spirit of inspiration and imagination that shakes you to the core and leaves you wanting more - just like an earthquake waking you from slumber. Shake is poetry in motion from start to finish, a procession of powerful, hard hitting words that enlighten, enthral and inform. The experience enraptures and 'emboldens', a new word introduced to my lexicon. It embodies the next generation of artists standing up for their rights, declaring their voice must be listen to and demanding that change must come to this unjust and unequal world we are living in. It promises to shake the foundations of power relations, bringing new meaning, hope and love to our communities. Watch this space the revolution is coming, and Shake is at the forefront of this positive force for good. I highly recommend you get involved..."

Thank you Mista Vee aka Freddy Vanson!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Rave Reviews of Shake! Showcase#3 Power! Propaganda! &Perceptions!

Since last night’s mind-blowing Shake! Showcase –Power! Propaganda! &Perceptions, we have been bombarded with amazing feedback via twitter, email, fb and from showcase attendee feedback forms. Thank you to all those that joined us yesterday and for the love and support. Apologies to those that were unable to attend because we reached full capacity. Watch this space for more showcases, more shaking things up and more EMBOLDENING!

Shaking things up! with Lucas Kelly's "Messy Python"
“There are no words that can describe tonight, words that come close are: intense, dynamic, exhilarating, WOW, some fiery talent witnessed tonight- damn, thanks to everyone who listened and enjoyed my poem, thank you for sharing your poems with me, and hope we can meet again and colab…1 love to my activist brothers and sisters” -Lateef

“ Loved all of it! Ideal and perfect to give participants confidence to perform” - Shake! showcase enthusiast

“That was WONDERFUL !!! So inspiring - thank you for such a great evening .... Thank you for all the wonderful things that you bring into my life ... eye-opening, arresting” -James

“It ended too soon”- Shake! showcase enthusiast

Thank you shake really took it up a level this year!” -Annie

“Fantastic show! So Inspired! Thank you so much to all involved for giving me an opportunity to be inspired “- Shake! showcase enthusiast

“Shake! Youth Arts and Activism showcase last night at the Free Word Centre, one of the most inspiring events i've been to this year" -Ishan

"The Shake showcase provided an astonishing array of talent, insight and passion. There was a really electric atmosphere as the audience was treated to stunning performance after stunning performance, to the point where I was moved to tears (Requiem). It was an amazing testament to the emboldened young people who'd taken part in the course, the mentors and Shake! as an institution itself."- Kevin

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Showcase#3: Power >> Propaganda >> Perceptions @ Free Word Centre, 29th October, 6-9pm

Shake! Showcase#3: >> Power >> Propaganda >> Perceptions is the explosive showcase from the participants of the third Shake! course. Featuring freshly created poetic, filmic and musical responses to injustice, the showcase will present an original and inspiring mix of political creativity. So get on down to the Free Word Centre  in Farringdon on Tuesday 29th October, 6-9pm and join us for what promises to be an electric event.

Check out this trailer of the film made by the Shake! participate during the Shake! course in August at the BGAC. The full film will be premiered at the showcase.

Get your tickets here: 
(The event is free for students and unwaged)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Absent from Academy

With so few black faces in academia, particularly at the top level, Absent from the Academy looks at what effects this has on black academics, black communities and Britain's ability to gain from the global perspectives and knowledge formations which diversity in scholarship can offer.

 A new documentary has just been made on the state of Black British academia, feat. Adam Cooper

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Power in Numbers: Free one day Event feat. 'Professor' Ed

Free one-day event for young people interested in social movements this Saturday at City University, feat. Shake! facilitator Ed Lewis. Free but places are limited - email to book. Not to be missed!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Ceris Aston: Thoughtcrime: censorship in the UK

A piece by Ceris on censorship in the UK, originally published  for Cafebabel- original link here

As the UK government proposes increasingly more draconian censorship laws, fears grow in Britain over the rights to free speech and assembly
On 3 September, the British government presented the transparency of lobbying, non-party campaigning and trade union administration bill to its parliament. This bill, dubbed the ‘gagging law’ by critics - and there are many - proposes new measures curtailing political action on the part of non-politicians in the year running up to any general election. While this is ostensibly in order to limit and regulate funding from trade unions or wealthy lobbyists, any campaign or other political activity which might affect the result of an election would be strictly regulated. The bill proposes limiting spending to just over 450,000 euros for non-party-political campaigns and to introduce criminal sanctions for those exercising their right to free speech.



Trade unions, campaign groups, charities and other political parties have condemned the draconian measures. If the bill were passed, it would constitute a severe infringement of civil liberties in the UK and would leave political parties free to deliver their propaganda unchallenged in an election year. In effect, groups would be unable to speak out against any of the major issues of the day for fear of becoming tangled up in the new law, which has met charges of being both overly complex and too vague. The conservative-liberal democrat coalition government is being accused of attempting to rush the bill through. Campaign group 38 Degrees is urging constituents to write to their politicians in protest at this disturbing proposal.

The bill is only the latest of a series of worrying instances concerning limitations upon civil freedoms in the UK. In May Edward Snowden, a former national security agency (NSA) contractor in the USA, revealed classified information about how both the USA and the UK’s government communications headquarters spy upon their civilians using the internet, and spend thousands of pounds in attempts to break encryptions on private information. American journalist Glenn Greenwald published the leaked information for the British left-wing newspaper The Guardian. In August, Greenwald’s Brazilian partner David Miranda was detained at a UK airport for nine hours and had all his electronic goods confiscated under the terrorism act. He was returning after visiting one of the other actors in the NSA revelations, documentary maker Laura Poitras. It was subsquently revealed that the UK government had ordered The Guardian to destroy the hard-drives containing the Snowden files.



In other developments, the 'con-dem' government plans to make internet service providers block online pornography by default, turning porn into an ‘opt-in’ service. While this action may at first seem relatively innocuous, governmental censorship of any kind sets an alarming precedent. It seems likely that other types of ‘inappropriate’ sites may also be automatically blocked if prime minister David Cameron’s 'pornwall' is set up, such as extremist and terrorist related content or esoteric material. Many of the categories are disturbingly open to state interpretation. George Orwell's 1984, the blueprint of dystopian state control, put it thus: 'Who controls the past,' ran the party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past'.

While the government couches its proposal in terms of safety and of protecting children, it is dubious whether governmental organisations should have the power to censor and filter the information available on the internet. For those who argue that the 'innocent' have nothing to fear, the UK government’s proposed anti-social behaviour, crime and policing bill may give some cause for concern. This bill would criminalise anyone who ‘engages or threatens to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person'. That’s pretty broad. Many of us would argue that the bill could potentially violate our freedom of expression. It may also remove the lawful freedoms to assemble and protest. The UK government is attempting to pass measures which would both increase state power and severely curtail civil freedoms in at least England and Wales. The fear is that the public won’t notice, won’t seize their right to protest these authoritarian and oppressive new bills until they are enshrined in law and their right to protest no longer exists. As Orwell said, 'In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it.'

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

AmaZulu Free Write Review

Last Thursday we held a screening of AmaZulu –Children of Heaven at the Platform office. As usual at Shake! we don’t do things normally, after watching the film, we all participated in a short free write. Free writes are exactly what they say they are; free writing. No thinking, no processing, just pen on paper.  We find free writes are a great creative tool and an easy way to get all the thoughts floating in our heads out on paper, they even help frame some interesting discussions. 

Post film discussions with Jordan and Nathaniel

 Here are two examples of free writes by  Shake!r’s Umaru and Lucas after watching AmaZulu:

When I see life lived the hard way, the other side of living, the other side of life itself, which I don’t have to go through, its hard and I do count myself blessed for the things I take for granted… a home, family, friends even food.  Its taught me that it is hard but you have no choice but to follow your dreams, because if you don’t its like the Amazulu children going to school without singing their song. What’s the point? But It’s great when you can leave a place of labour where you have made great friends for life and hear the words  “well done”you have done your job, mission accomplished, yeh mission accomplished.  In South Africa there is a long way to go before we hear those words- mission accomplished but the children of Amazulu showed us that it is a start.  Its massive steps back when guys spread HIV to girls without even thinking about the consequences, but children of heaven keep singing your song, because we all need to hear it. -  By Umaru Saidu
AmaZulu  warriors are children from above supporting people and singing as they go into exams is truly real love. I am amazed by their personalities and warming attitude. They are really inspiring and compel me to muse. Similarities and differences form their country to ours, their cheerfulness is really contagious and makes me want to give them flowers.  The ins and outs of African lifestyle is truly sublime and I love to right about them paper with a lot of rhymes. –By Lucas Kelly