Eight young artists competed in the last segment of Poetry Slam, organsied by the Ubuntu Movement –as part of celebrations for ‘Emancipation Month’.
The event, which began in February, has attracted a wide range of artists to deliver their works in poetry, or Spoken-word format.
On Wednesday, the artists put on a mesmerizing display at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) to the delight of the supportive audience in attendance. Participants had to perform original pieces that highlighted an ‘Emancipation’ theme within a limited time range of three to five minutes.
With vivid portrayals tinged with dynamic lyrics- under the Emancipation theme, the performers exuded an underlying current of soulful and heartfelt-inspirational presentations.
According to the spokesperson for the panel of four judges, though the artists performed remarkably well enough for each to be considered ‘a winner’, however, it was the exuberance and deft composure of young student Christa William that came through with her piece entitled Rejection vs. Love.
Christa, a student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College [SALCC] delivered confidently while conjuring up the character of a male individual; to determine whether that man is an ordinary father or a loving dad.
But the portrayal had a ‘deeper meaning’ as it related to rejection and suppression in the wider world.
While admitting that it took a lot of courage and determination ‘to perform on a big stage’ in public, something that had not crossed her mind years before, the young poet was quite versed in her performance.
She spoke of the travails and triumphs of a young male who was able to ‘turn his life around’ from his ‘gangster days’ to a life of redemption, culminating in an embrace of love.
And so tight was the competition that two performers – Kishma Serieux and Khadijah Halliday- tied for second place.
Kishma’s presentation was entitled – I am Emancipation- which she described as “a piece written from the beyond …”
‘Emancipation is a safe Haven for the Soul’, the poem rang out, with heavy derivatives on the past experiences of pain and suffering, endurance and hope and the yearning … ‘to be free’.
Khadijah, a 20 year-old university student, actor and social activist did a piece entitled Black Skin. The young African princess dressed up nicely in African-clothing attire recalled the disdain and despair that she had to encounter “all because my skin tone was darker than that of my circle of friends”, and also the depressing effect that this had on her younger sister.
Khadijah testified that living through this experience exposed her to ‘colourism’ and it allowed her to gain the confidence to speak out and express herself in becoming comfortable with her beautiful black skin.
Ras Caius Mauricette took third place with a poem entitled ‘Time for Repatriation’, in which he intoned about the struggles to break through the shackles of the system, and ‘captivity of minds …yearning to be free’.
Monetary prizes were awarded as follows;
1st place – $1,000
2nd place – $500
3rd place – $250
Like the top winners, the other performers too all impressed with heavy inspirational messages in Black History, Afro- Caribbean literature and culture to stir the awareness and awaken the consciousness of a supportive audience.
Other artists performing at the event included;
Lance Vincent – Distant Africans
Anthony Avril – Pride
Christian Joseph – An African Story …
Kerbriyan Charlery – Free Yourself.
Guest performances featured the explicit and captivating works and lyrics of poet – Glen Charlery who wooed the audience with two self-motivated stimulating pieces – entitled ‘The Artist’ and ‘Welcome to Paradise’.
The young vibrant group – Roots Production, with a three-piece skit mixed with dance, song, spoken word and drama added their bit of flair and savvy to the session.
The Ubuntu Movement culminated its 28-Days Celebration in observance of Emancipation with a Market Fair, on Wednesday, at the Constitution Park, in Castries.
Meanwhile, moving on the Poetry Slam event will now be held monthly, instead of bi-monthly, on the third Tuesday of the month.