Exploring culture and identity through spoken word in Canada Water

Being proud of your roots and what makes you unique is crucial to forming a positive self-image and realising your full potential.  With this in mind, last month we partnered with BMT x BWT stories to deliver a workshop that used the power of spoken word performance to engage students, explore the themes of culture and identity, and help them perform their own poetry. As well as encouraging young people to participate in the creative arts and building their confidence, the workshop aimed to support the school’s delivery of an inclusive education and promote mental wellbeing for its students, while actively challenging racism. 

The session kicked off with a ‘Food Fight’ game that demonstrated the importance of cultural diversity in the capital. Guest spoken word artist Big Scoop, who hit UK TV screens late last year on Sky Arts’ Life & Rhymes, shared his story with the students. This served as the inspiration for a discussion on developing skills and personal pride. 

The day also included one-to-one support to help  students refine their ideas and produce some truly thought-provoking poetry of their own. ‘Our students really enjoyed it and many responded in ways we have not seen from them before,’ said Bacon’s College Principal James Wilson. 

BMT and BWT Stories were founded by transformative storyteller, educator and creative producer Alain ‘Fusion’ Clapham as platforms to celebrate the awesome everyday stories of black men and women from around the world. For this workshop the focus was widened to celebrate cultural identities of all kinds and how diversity enriches communities. British Land partnered with BMT x BWT during Black History season to support delivery of workshops with secondary schools local to our places in London, including Bacon’s College in Rotherhithe, where we’ve worked with the school since 2016 to support their curriculum and inspire students to find ways to express themselves. 

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