Changing Perspectives with Eeshita Azad

Eeshita Azad is a poet, a creative producer and an arts facilitator with a career spanning 15 years in New York, London and Dhaka. She is the Executive Director of BBPC, a poetry collective, since September 2019. She has directed the BBPC production for last year’s Tower Hamlet Council’s Season of Bangla Drama Festival.

She is a page and a stage poet. She has been performing her poetry since 2006. She won the best performer prize at the International Women's Day Poetry Jam, RichMix, London 2007. She collaborated with cartoonist Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy of Cartoon movement fame and performed her visual-poetry at Hay Dhaka in 2013. Elegiac Songs, is a book of poems by Eeshita Azad published by Journeyman Books (Feb. 2018).

Eeshita will be delivering our ‘Poetry in Motion’ event on Wednesday 7 July, where we will explore how our words live inside our bodies, and how we can release those stories in a creative and freeing way. We caught up with her:

What does creativity mean to you? What has it helped you through in life or taught you about life?

‘Creativity is when we start to 'think' with our hearts rather than our head and give into non linear thinking. It can take many shapes, a poem, a dance, a painting or even an unusual solution to a problem we were grappling with. It is essential for our mental health and wellbeing. It helps us press the refresh button when we are emotionally and mentally exhausted. Sometimes when I write a poem I feel like I can see what my unconscious mind has been struggling with. It can be quite a cathartic exercise. And when I share a poem with others, online or live, it brings a collective understanding that is nourishing for us all.’

What do you think holds people back from getting creative, and how do you think we can combat this?
’Although people's perspective is changing, there is still a stigma attached to creative practices as being frivolous, inconsequential. This perspective is propagated by government policies in Arts funding and education. It is also felt by the individual via social expectations from the family and the community. There is no simple answer to this dilemma, only that mindset needs to change, policies have to reflect that change.’

Why should people come to your event with us?
’This is a taster session that involves poetry and movement. It is designed to be light hearted and creative and relaxing.We shall explore how poetry can be very personal and can lead to movement, maybe dancing.’

Anything else you want to add, anything you are working on in the near future?
’For more information on poetry workshops and sharing sessions please follow us on twitter or Instagram @bbpc_poetry’

Book your place:

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Imagining the future with Mark Shayler

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Sculpting Narrative