It was only as far back as 2013 that Kosha was involved in producing a contemporary art exhibition for the NGO One Billion Rising to go on show during their Arts Against Violence ’13 festival in support of their international campaign to end violence against women and girls. Kosha tells me ‘It was shortly after the exhibition went on show that a fellow artist and director of the festival, Rose Gibbs, contacted me. She asked me to take on the production of an event, which would be a show that would feature a selection of poets. I initially declined the offer as I had no experience or network in the poetry circuit, until my friend Kristian Deltchev sprang to mind. He had been involved in the spoken word scene in his hometown setting up workshops and evenings of vocal sharing. From there I had the support I needed to make this event happen for Rose, and more importantly, for One Billion Rising.’
A friend of Kosha, Joie de Winter, coined the phrase Re:Verse and the show was born in its entirety. Initially, it was only meant to be a one-time show, specifically created for the Arts Against Violence ’13 festival. However, Kosha noticed people really seemed to like it. ‘They liked the poets and the poets liked the event, and equally important to that I suddenly developed a strong passion for the awe inspiring work these vocal artists do and gained a deep respect towards them. I couldn’t and still can’t take the stage like these poets can. To be able to use one of the most ancient means of emotive exchange within the dizzying midst of an increasingly technological and mechanized world is a real art.’
The event seemed to have a future, and Kosha explains ‘after beginning to create the next Re: Verse event, I started to realize that the principles underpinning the art of spoken word, even though it wasn’t manifested through vocal poetry, was in fact present in my other activities – the affirmation of consciousness through my own art practice, the connection of individuals during my live art events and thereby the development of community and non-violent interventions akin to my pacifistic nature – all gave me more than enough reason to carry this on. ‘
Just over a year later, Re: Verse now has a residency at The Rose Theatre in Kingston Upon-Thames collaborating with the lovely guys at Our Friend’s Records on a joint multi-arts event called Mosaic. They have also just been announced to be the official spoken word poetry provider for this years International Youth Arts Festival 2014, also being held in Kingston!
Catch this month’s Mosaic night this Thursday 6th March. It starts at 7.30pm and will only cost you a fiver to experience a night filled with talent, laughter and music. You’ve got a really great line up: finger style instrumental guitar from Tim Fulker, poetry from two different wordsmiths; The Floating Poet, and Osama, as well as acoustic blues from CR Thorn and swing-folk vibes from Beaubowbelles. The comedy slot will be hosted by Sheraz Yousaf who presents you with three delightful and talented comedians who are very well known in the working circuit; Dane Baptiste, Nico Yearwood and Jen Brister.
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Here is a little taster from Jen Brister and Tim Fulker; two of the 8 acts performing this Thursday:
Words: Irune Rue Chamberlain