Green Left promotes poetic political insurgents

July 5, 2018
Wiradjuri/Gamilaroi poet Lorna Munro, guitarist Francis McKay and Eric Avery at the Poets to the People. Photo: Peter Boyle

“Cultural insurgency” is all the buzz these days, but it is also a very real phenomena in the age of mass disillusionment with neoliberal capitalism.

People are not only sick of the market-knows-best mantra being shoved down our throats by corporate and political elites but are sharply aware that cultural spaces are being increasingly monopolised and manipulated by big business.

In reaction, there is a new flowering of insurgent cultural expression that is seeking out and finding new platforms and venues. Spoken-word performers and poets are joining with radical rappers in this new movement.

One of Green Left Weekly's roles is to give voice to such radical voices and, on June 29, it hosted the third successful Poets to the People at the Sydney Resistance Centre. About 60 people crowded into this space in Ultimo.

The night was dedicated to the memory of the recently passed Candy Royalle, the Palestinian-Australian queer poet, described by her friends as a “performing writer, front woman, lover, fighter, survivor, dreamer, believer and creator”.

The line-up this year included First Nations poets Elizabeth Jarrett and Lorna Munro. Lizzie is a talented storyteller, poet and Indigenous rights activist. She beautifully expresses the rage and anger at injustices towards Aboriginal, refugee and oppressed minority communities in Australian society. Lorna, a proud, young Wiradjuri/Gamilaroi woman performed together with brilliant First Nations violinist Eric Avery and guitarist Francis McKay.

Other performers on the night included Gabrielle Jones, Camila Sanchez, Rhys Albress, Fayroze Lutta, Linda Lovechild, Semra Coban Ozgunay, Katie Thorburn, Holly Kickstart, Yahya Naji and Rowan Cahill. Music for the night was provided by Colin Charlton and ukelele band the Red Rattlers. MC for the night was LGTBI rights campaigner Gay Egg.

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