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VAP 2020 – Virtual Acoustic Poetry Testimonies

First of all, thank you for the opportunity to work with you on this project. It was truly an honour for me as a woman, mother and community member living in the shadow of the Grenfell tower. This online Poetry event is such a cathartic process and I know when my children are older they too will be grateful for their involvement. The souls of the departed are grateful to you / that we keep fighting for their justice. (BAME Volunteer)

A great space to share conscious vibrations! We are all connected, even at distance; love being a part of this! (BAME Artist)

Love is shared in many ways, amazing production, keep it up! (BAME Community Counsellor offering her services)

Was a very joyful experience, to share art knowledge and skills and see how others develop them , please keep up more of these sessions! (Art tutor)

I felt connected to home, Having a voice through poetry and music helps The consistency over time of this project helps. (BAME Single parent family of three generations)

I love the fact that Kamitan Arts puts community at the heart of it’s artistic endeavours. It’s just nice to see that having a sense of community is not dead in the sprawling metropolis that is London. I also love the fact that people of all ages, and from different walks of life, were given a platform to express themselves through art. This is really important for people’s health & well-being and should never be underestimated. I would like to see this project receive further funding & support to enable it to continue. (BAME Community Participant)

That poetry and art give allow people to express themselves and share their thoughts and feelings with others. This event is a wonderful platform for people of different generations and from different backgrounds to connect and inspire one another. (Community Participant)

The wealth of creative expression, with all the lovely people coming together for this event is amazing, keep on going ‘Poetry 4 Grenfell’! (BAME Young participant)

The warmth of the sessions, Princess E and team are welcoming and wonderful! (Shielding BAME elder participant)

Aside from being invited to read, I love what Poetry 4 Grenfell does and all events live and online are always heartening, uplifting, offering solace. And was excited to be part of launch event for VAP. The beauty and power of heartfelt personal responses and an awe of everybody’s word talents is what I will take away with me today. (Vulnerable BAME elder participant)

An awesome experience of love and good vibes, really good concept and I really enjoy this! (BAME Musician)

Healing and empowering nature of the creative arts, Kamitan Arts is doing excellent work in bringing together all parts of the community in creative expression (Shielding BAME Musician)

Kamitan Arts, is an inspiring organisation full of talented and passionate people!! I had the pleasure of working with Emanuelle and the rest of the Kamitan Arts devoted followers. It felt like a real family to me. It gave me the opportunity to exchange and receive so much positive energy and creativity with other like-minded individuals. It restored my faith to humanity as I had the opportunity to meet so many extraordinary people, simple people but with a big heart, that take to their core, their neighbours’ problems, and what happened with the towers in west London, and they still act for it and they don’t forget, even if a few years have passed now. I would definitely go back there once I have the littlest time to spend and I hope that we can collaborate again in the future both personally and professionally! ALL THE BEST for many more successful events in the future! (High Risk Online Volunteer)

The VAP sessions are very important, a rare and open hearted platform for us all. The initiative is typical of Kamitan Arts and Princess Emmanuelle/Empress Emmanuelle approach – creativity and pragmatism responding on the front line – as with Poetry 4 Grenfell sensitively and effectively.
The art offer as well as the poetry and cross link was genius with scope for participation on many levels and a chance for vital self expression at a different time creating a real sense of community and shared company. Practitioners and guest featured people were all so well chosen. I am focussing on the VAP Poetry sessions as those are the ones I joined most consistently.
I wasn’t able to attend all sessions – of the poetry or the art sessions – and tho I was gainfully busy or needed to chill I was sad to miss joining. So lovely to see friends on the screen – I know a lot of the people who tuned in or have guested, and wonderful to hear their poems knowing it’s a shared lifeline too. And so great to see and hear new people, often the same ones each time. The bravery of music and poems together, improv, the deep nature of the wisdom and honesty shared with such warm appreciation was special. I love the younger generation dynamic and the respect offered.
It’s not the same as hugging, however the warmth, immediacy and generosity of the occasion always shines through. “Th’ankh you” ….. When I shared in the group I said that although you have funding – and well done – donations are also crucial to extend beyond the bare bones of subsidies.
Best Debbie Golt July 2020
(International DJ and Radio Host of the Outerglobe show on Resonance FM, Co-founder and event organiser of WOMATT and previously the Arts and Culture Head at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea)

All 78 participants that filled in the feedback form either felt: Motivated, Relaxed, Happy, Connected, or/and Creative after a VAP – Virtual Acoustic Poetry session.

VAP Poll – Click on the image to see it in full size
Attendees – Click on the image to see it in full size
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