Palestinian performance poet and BDS activist Remi Kanazi is currently touring England. Astonishingly he is giving 22 performances in 19 days, starting and ending in London and in between visiting more of England in those few days than many residents see in a lifetime! That energy that enables such a packed schedule is very evident in his electrifying performance of political poetry mixed with stand up. His message is refreshingly uncompromising, sharing the struggles and concerns of his people through the power of words.
We were privileged to experience two of his performances. Here we include photos from his performance at Newham-Jenin event in London (13 Nov 2011) and the video from his Brighton performance (15 Nov 2011) which was for a full hour followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers.
Remi, based in New York City, is the editor of Poets For Palestine and the author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine. His political commentary has been featured by news outlets throughout the world and his poetry has taken him across North America and the Middle East. He recently appeared in the Palestine Festival of Literature as well as Poetry International at Londonís Southbank. He is a recurring writer in residence and advisory board member for the Palestine Writing Workshop.
His book of poetry "Poetic Injustice - writings on Resistance and Palestine" is highly recommended and is available for sale at poeticinjustice.net.
Some of the powerful three line poems from the book are reproduced below. Read a great account of the Brighton event here.
These are not rocks They are the bulldozed headstones of our forefathers
People say Palestine made me political I think it made me human
Free Palestine is not a keychain in your back pocket
From my rooftop I can see an Israeli sunbathing on the balcony my grandfather built
Tell a refugee in Bourj el-Barajneh that pragmatism is the reason she will not return
[On Muslim prisoners post-911] "Its important for us not just to be able to fight the case legally but also for somebody like him to get them moral support. One should not look at the fact whether or not somebody is convicted.. one should be looking at the fact there is an individual here who is suffering mentally, physically and needs support - just letters and cards to say to him 'Are you okay? Please do not give up hope' - support of that nature is important for individuals like Isa and others like him.. remember this much - he converted to Islam, he doesn't have a Muslim family - where as others may have a Muslim family, extended members who may write to them and support them. Give moral support, it really does help a prisoner when he is sitting in his cell locked up 23 hours of the day.."