02:00PM, Wednesday 07 February 2018
Slough’s blossoming poetry scene has been given a boost, after spoken word collective Empoword launched its Youtube channel over the weekend.
The group meets once a month at the Yes Shop in the Queensmere Observatory shopping centre for poetry and spoken word performances.
Poets from a range of ages and cultural backrounds use their art to explore hard hitting topics like mental health, racism, sexism, inequality and more, while others aim to make the everyone in the room laugh.
The group, a project of youth charity Aik Saath, was recently given a £2,500 grant by art consortium Home Slough, which it spent on film equipment and tuition from Slough based Resource Productions.
Arts Council England funded Home Slough is aiming to revitalise the arts scene in Slough.
Empoword launched its Youtube channel after this month’s session on Saturday, February 3.
Having filmed performances from autumn last year, the collective is aiming to upload a new video every day.
“I definitely think it will spark more interest, especially as Youtube is such a popular platform with young people,” said Empoword regular Saleha Latif, who has written poems about her cultural identity and struggle with anxiety.
“It’s also really useful as a performer to watch yourself and kind of adapt your performance,” she added.
Aik Saath project manager Rob Deeks said: “I think it’s going to be a big boost for Empoword but I also genuinely think it will help put Slough on the map.”
He said while London’s art scenes often get a lot of limelight, talent is abundant in Slough.
“Areas that are quite maligned by other people also produce some of the best arts scenes, I like to think of Slough as a bit like Detroit,” he added.
Visit the Empoword Slough channel on www.youtube.com to watch performances.
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