Performance art, Toni Stuart and I am Somebody!

My dear friend Toni Stuart, founder of I Am Somebody!, an initiative to give South African youth a voice by helping them narrate their stories, is also a poet.

Here is a recording of one of her recent performances in Stellenbosch outside Cape Town. At 8m46s, she tells my story as it was in the wake of the financial crisis in late 2008, and recites a poem, ‘For Imad’. She certainly makes me feel like I am somebody.

Related:

I Am Somebody! Newsletter – USA

Toni’s profile of a graffiti artist on p24 of Word Up! eZine, Aug 2011 edition

 

for Imad

it is the uncertainty,

he said.

it is the autumn,

she thinks

…green leaves turn brittle brown

through shades of ochre, orange and fear

4 o’clock darkness pulls

mists of unspoken words from mute mouths

and hearts

rattle

inside seemingly empty

bodies rattling

inside seemingly bursting train carriages

empty of happiness and hope

it is the uncertainty,

he said.

it is the autumn,

she thinks

…green leaves turn brittle brown

through shades of ochre, orange and fear

river’s wind rustles

the forgotten within

and a heart rattles inside your sunken skeleton

your

sculptured silhouette

breaks free

its nude screams

pierce through

makeshift masterpieces

that turned your purple music banal

and as those voices fall to silence

their sound turns to ash

a waste of passion, black

like onyx

that now lines your insides.

the absurd

makes you

wild
it is the autumn,

she thinks.

come walk with me through this cold November grey

along the Southbank of our lives

and let the dusk mist

settle on the winter of our unknowing souls

it is the uncertainty,

he said.

I know, she smiles,

I know.

-Toni Stuart

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