Don't go there SIANAARRGH!

It takes a lot of confidence to be this ridiculous.

Why I’m not your Black History Month Poet (and other things…)

My last blog update was at the start of February 2017!

So much has happened. A good way to get a more detailed glimpse into my adventures is by visiting my official website, www.sianabangura.com, and browsing. I’m very pleased with how it’s coming along, actually.

Inspired by my late friend, Alexander ‘King’ Paul and also the desire to write 1000 words a day as a coping mechanism and way to improve my writing, I’ve started journaling offline in my little black book. I’m getting there and slowly working my way towards consistency BUT the attempt has also inspired me to start blogging online again. Blogging is where it all began. I’ve been writing online since I was 15 years old and also using WordPress for just as long. I’m now 26! As my freelance journalism and writing as a ‘career’ thing took off, my writing for pleasure got neglected, as is often the way. Obviously, I do a lot of creative writing still, and you can read some of it in my debut collection of poetry, ‘Elephant’, but there’s something still very endearing about blogging on my own terms and writing social commentary right here. I’m also trying to make more use of Medium.com and still working out how best to separate how I use my different platforms to say what. I’m currently thinking that this blog will be my everyday commentary (as lighthearted as possible), about things I enjoy like music, films, books, travel and so on. Once in a while, I might also drag a brand like Dove for their continuous racist bullshit. On Medium, I think I’ll use it as a space for experimentation with my writing and sharing things that didn’t make ‘the final cut’ or things that you can no longer read anywhere else. I’ll see how this division pans out.

Denim 7

In any case, visit my ‘Writing’ page on www.sianabangura.com for the latest highlights from my good pen and get your life. As it’s October, I’ve written a piece for Black Ballad about Black History Month and the fact I’m sick of being tokenised by all and sundry:

‘For those who may not quite realise, I am black 365 days a year. I am black in January, February, March, April through to September, and in November and December too. I’m also a woman outside of March, Women’s month. However, I keep finding, just as other Black and Brown poets and writers often find, my voice isn’t all that welcome or appreciated, let alone amplified and paid attention to en mass outside of Black History Month. Why do certain educational, corporate, and ‘community’ organisations and institutions only find the money to pay me for my work in October, if they offer to pay me at all?

‘Of course, this isn’t the case for all Black creators – some of my contemporaries have managed to forge a space in which they can create and be paid to do so throughout the calendar year, but it has to be said that as part of this mainstream tokenism, there is only a small pool of go-to individuals that lazy corporations call upon again and again, not just because of the undeniable talent of the individuals, but also because the organisations have not bothered to do the work of searching for numerous Black voices in the same way they actively seek white voices for every single opportunity outside of special months and special occasions. ‘

Read the full article by CLICKING HERE and buying your premium membership or signing up for THREE FREE reads a month.

In other news, this weekend I’ll be participating in the UK’s first every one-day festival celebrating Black British women. I’ll be speaking on the Women in Media panel in the afternoon – and before you ask, the event is totally sold out, as are all the panels and workshops (excellent news if you were quick enough to nab your free entry! Not great news if you were not…).

Black Girl Festival Poster - Siana Bangura

I’m also curating my next exhibition this November and it’ll take place in Birmingham. More information is coming very very very soon!

What else? We’ve now closed submissions for the upcoming anthology I’m working at the Haus of Liberated Reading. Looking forward to announcing the contributors at the start of next year.

Aaaaaand I released my short film ‘Denim’, exploring gentrification in South East London.

Denim 4

But more than anything? I’m looking forward to this year being over if I’m being totally honest with you! I’m ready to put my tools down, re-charge and re-group.

My next few posts on here will be from the archives – watch this space…

 

 

 

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This entry was posted on October 22, 2017 by in Updates and tagged , , , .

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