Warwick uni 'Two Chairs' competition - May 2017
I was invited to be a judge for this wonderful competition by James Hodgkinson, Professor at Warwick university alongside Ian McMillan and Momtaza Mehri. The entries were phenomenal and it was a pleasure reading all the entries received. We then attended an awards ceremony held at New College, Oxford and performed commissioned pieces alongside the competition winners.
You can find out more about the competition here.
Hay Writers At Work residence - May 2017
I was selected to be one of the 20 lucky participants in this year's Hay Festival Writers At Work residence scheme. The experience was a phenomenal, inspiration-packed week meeting other Welsh writers, having workshops and talks from well-known authors ranging from Cathy Rentzenbrick to Ian McEwan. Highlight of my week was chatting to Margaret Atwood and her shaking my hand!
You can find out more about the scheme here and I would strongly encourage any emerging writers to apply for next year.
Radical Suffragette - April 2017
I was invited to participate in a panel discussion for MEND's 'Radical Suffragette' event. There was a screening of the film 'Suffragette' as well as our panel discussion. The conversation surrounding this film is interesting as there is a clear erasure of any women of colour, most notably, Princess Sophia Duleep Singh.
International Women's Day ITV Wales - March 2017
Urban Kube - Oct 2017
As part of their week of segments celebrating International Women's Day, ITV Wales interviewed and recorded me performing at our monthly poem mic night. You can watch the whole segment here: http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2018-03-09/the-young-poet-fighting-for-less-fear-of-image-of-muslim-women/
Riverside mural - Sept 2017
I was approached by the coordinator of a fantastic local project called Riverside Grows Wild, David Kilner. He planned to commission a huge mural on a newly-built wall to bring more colour and nature imagery to the area.
He asked me to compose a poem about Riverside as well as touching on topics such as local history, nature and community.
The mural itself was created by one of the most talented graffiti artists I have ever come across, Peaceful Progress. The mural is absolutely stunning and I am so glad to have been a part of this wonderful project!
Hijabi Monologues London - Sept 2017
I was delighted to hear that my monologue titled 'With Her Back Straight' had been chosen as 1 of 3 to be included in this project coordinated by the Bush Theatre in London.
My monologue is inspired by my mother's strength throughout her life.
You can find out more about the Hijabi Monologues project here: https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/event/hijabi-monologues/
Sharing our Stories event - Aug 2017
The centre is run by the Welsh Muslim Cultural Foundation. You can find out more about their work here: https://twitter.com/WelshMuslims/
Summer camp poetry workshops - Aug 2017
I was invited to deliver a series of poetry workshops to girls aged 11-21 at the Friends, Fun and Faith summer camp.
I must admit delivering 3 workshops one after another to differing age groups was a challenge but one i thoroughly enjoyed!
We discussed well-known female poets such as the iconic Maya Angelou and the more recently-discovered Warsan Shire.
I was blown away by the level of insight and talent these girls had to offer through their writing!
First 'Where I'm Coming From' open mic - Aug 2017
So excited to see this come into fruition!
'Where I'm Coming From' is an open mic series based in Cardiff and aimed at, although not predominantly for, creatives of colour.
I co-ordinate this project alongside the super talented Durre Shahwar in order to encourage and inspire more BAME writers to take centre stage.
We feature 3 artists per session and allow them to discuss their inspirations and influences as well as share some of their work.
To read more about the project, follow the links below:
Ramadan UmmahSonic collab - June 2017
My second collaboration with the incredibly-talented people behind UmmahSonic.
This piece describes my own personal experience of Ramadan, which has been influenced by the Japanese practice of kintsukuroi - mending broken pottery with melted gold.
Strength & Trust - June 2017
Yet another lovely event organised by Rabata.org
I performed a spoken word piece about Maryam/ Mary - the mother of Jesus.
I got to share the stage with my PhDing, stereotype-smashing, wonder woman shaykha Ameira Bahadur-Kutkut.
Collaboration with UmmahSonic - May 2017
I was approached by UmmahSonic who wanted to produce a video for social media exploring my identity as a mixed-race Muslim poet. I perform parts of my poem titled: 'A Tale of Mixed: Other (please specify)'.
This was so much fun to film in Cardiff Castle!
iLEAD Poetry workshop - Apr 2017
I delivered a workshop to a group of very talented 18 year olds about writing and expressing yourself through poetry for the iLEAD programme.
I decided that, rather than quote some of the incredible poets of the past, I would use examples from some of the diverse interesting poets of the Muslim community such as Tommy A-man Evans, Asma Elbadawi, and local Cardiff poet Abeer Ameer.
Each one is killing it but chooses to express themselves through poetry in a very different way.
The attendees composed their own pieces and I have to say some were truly inspiring with one brave young man sharing a poem about mental health. Also a young woman shared a poem about how, to her, Kabul was a place of beauty and peace as opposed to the perception from others.
It was a really enjoyable event and a pleasure spending time with such talent!
For more information on the iLEAD project, click here: http://muslimcouncilwales.org.uk/project/ilead/
Islam & Feminism: Oxymoron? - Apr 2017
A Mother's Day special- Mar 2017
It was my pleasure to perform some poetry and discuss feminism as Muslim women alongside the notable Anse Najiyah of Rabata.org
Rabata is a phenomenal organisation, founded by Anse Tamara Gray, dedicated to building spiritual ties between women, the spiritual upbringing of women by women, and the establishment of the female voice in scholarship.
You can find out more about Rabata's work here: http://www.rabata.org/
I performed 4 pieces of spoken word about inspiring Muslim women of history. It was a lovely event run by Human Appeal. Not only did I enjoy performing and helping this charity raise some much-needed funds but I was also reunited with a very old friend!
You can find out more about Human Appeal's work here: https://donate.humanappeal.org.uk/
International Women's Day- Mar 2017
I was asked to perform as part of the International Women's Day celebrations at the Wales Millennium Centre organised by WEN Wales and Fizzi Events.
You can find out more about the event and watch a short video here: http://www.wenwales.org.uk/what-we-do/international-womens-day/
BBC Radio Wales Arts show - Mar 2017
Cardiff Women's March - Jan 2017
Can Muslims Be British? event - Jan 2017
I was asked to perform spoken word at the Cardiff women's march which was in solidarity with the historic Women's March on Washington.
The march was wonderfully positive and I saw women, men and children all marching and chanting slogans of friendship and unity.
You can watch the video of my performance here: https://www.facebook.com/sana.abubaker123/videos/10211664187267278/
I was asked to speak and perform poetry at this event. The response was overwhelmingly positive and I spent the evening having enlightening and inspiring conversations from a diverse range of people who genuinely want to strengthen unity and bonds of peace.
Challenging the Narrative of Muslim Women - Nov 2016
The Women's Equality Network invited me to speak on the Muslim female voice and how writing can impact change.
It was a really inspiring event and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the other speakers!
Cardiff Met ISOC Charity Week dinner - Nov 2016
The ISOC invited me to perform a piece relating to Charity Week.
I composed a piece called '£5 note'.
Filming for Lyrically Speaking on Islam Channel - Oct 2016
I went all the way to the Big Smoke to film this and it was my first experience filming in a network studio.
Learnt a lot about the process and made some fantastic new connections with other creatives.
The episode can be viewed at: https://www.islamchannel.tv/programme-video/lyrically-speaking7/
Summer playscheme Poetry workshop - Aug 2016
I delivered a poetry workshop for teenage girls as part of a summer playscheme. I loved getting the girls to explore their own dreams and passions through language.
My 2 favourite moments were:
- Asking them all to shout what they love/ are most passionate about - The aim was to point out that if they felt too shy to shout about something they felt strongly about, how will they make any steps to accomplishing their goal.
- When one of the girls read out their poem and said that she will, without a doubt, be the first girl to play at Wimbledon in hijab #proudbigsistamoment
Radio Ramadan hosting - June 2016
I was asked to organise and host a few shows on our local Radio Ramadan including a Poetry hour, Travel show and this - 8 out of 10 hijabis.
It was a topical discussion show where we explored different topics affecting society today.
The show was so much fun to record and strengthened an already tight bond with some amazing active females!
Filming for Creative Soul Sessions with British Muslim TV - aired Sept 2016
This was my first filming experience so I was very nervous and excited. Sakinah and Mej were so friendly and professional it was a really positive experience!
Here are some of the funny outtakes from that series: http://video.genfb.com/1063879443718945
Women of the World - March 2016
I was so honoured to take part in this event. I performed my spoken word piece 'Frida' which discusses how Frida Kahlo inspires me.
You can watch a video of the whole event which includes sudio of my performance here: http://www.wenwales.org.uk/what-we-do/international-womens-day/
Empowerment: Peace & Productivity - Jan 2016
This event was organised by Interpal with the aim of inspiring Muslim women to get organised and chase their goals.
It was a lovely evening full of positive encouragement and discussion.