We believe that writing poetry is necessary to creating leaders, because without a political understanding of the world, young people often internalise the problems in their lives as their individual failings. Whether it is struggles with mental health, poverty or housing - we are told that if we cannot cope, it is because we are to blame.
We believe that the sharing of personal stories - either in performances or workshops - can enable young people to realise that they are not alone in their struggles, and this therefore serves to take the power out of their painful experiences. They see that their experience of living without a mother imprisoned in a detention centre, or the humiliation experienced by ‘random selection’ at airport check-ins, or the lonely, numbing battle with depression - are collective issues faced by many other people around them.
When problems move from being personal struggles, to our collective responsibility, we believe that this can develop the desire to demand for collective solutions to the political and social problems faced by many of us today.
The skills and experience gained through poetry lend itself incredibly well to the political leadership necessary to make such collective demands a reality. Globe Poets gives young people the confidence to speak powerfully to large audiences, to make abstract political ideas become concrete through story-telling, and to build the networks of critically-minded young people necessary to create change.
Globe Poets is not recruiting for any political party, nor forcing any political ideology upon the poets who come to write with us. But we do not hide the fact that we want young people to believe that change is necessary, and that they have both the power and responsibility to be agents of that change. Very few would look at the world around us today and suggest that the status quo can remain.
At this time of great darkness, there is no more important task than finding the young people who can lead us out into the light. Poets have always been at the forefront of political change; from Ireland to Egypt, it is poets who have lifted the human spirit to believe a world that is more just, equal and humane is possible.
In a classroom in Elephant and Castle, we have started our movement.
Elephant and Castle SE1 6AGUnited Kingdom