Potent Whisper on working with our Citz Storytellers
Posted on: 29 October 2018
Written by: Niamh Hicks
My name is Georgie Stephanou also known as rapper and Spoken Word artist Potent Whisper. I believe that as an artist there is no creation more glorious or worthwhile than to create the world I want to live in. This is the spirit with which I live and teach.
In recent months I have had the privilege of working with a group of young people at Cardboard Citizens on a theatre production entitled Label Lottery. I was asked to co-facilitate a handful of spoken word/theatre workshops alongside Lyrix Organix and contribute to the script. Though my time with the group was short it was an experience that will stay with me, not least because of the context of the project.
The piece is presented through a game-show format and explores labels that society forces us to wear. The young people I have had the honour of working with are often termed as vulnerable, though we know them to be powerful. Some Members of the cast are homeless, others have mental health needs and many find themselves facing barriers to education and training; excluded from society through no fault of their own. In my eyes this alone makes the piece authentic and important because the content is coming directly from people who live with such heavy labels every day of their lives.
But perhaps the most powerful element of the project is its connection to a wider campaign. The piece was designed to serve as part of a campaign called No Box No Label which the cast are also involved with developing and delivering. The piece will journey far outside of theatre walls into schools and the wider world. It does not simply exist to explore a subject, it was created to help change it.
People often ask me what I think the revolution will look like. A massive protest? A riot? Images of parliament in flames? In my view revolution is the ongoing creation of a new world, and so Label Lottery is truly the revolution in action.
The Citz Storytellers will tour Label Lottery around London's schools and hostels this autumn.
You can also read our latest blog from Brendan Lyons, one of our Citz Storytellers who attended the sounddelivery Being the Story event in Conway Hall - a one-day event featuring the stories of inspirational individuals in the charity sector and beyond.
Read his experience of the day here