arts Archives - The Westies

Bankstown Poetry Slam – Sara Mansour

Poetry Slam

A visit to Bankstown Poetry Slam had been on the radar for quite some time, last month I finally made it there. It was my first experience of watching people perform poetry and I very quickly figured out why it’s called a slam. The words being spat out by the brave performers hit you with force and an energy that embeds them deep in your conscience. Poems about lost grandparents, lives yet to be lived, isolation, love – topics so common no one in the room would struggle to understand them, yet the room was full of people who were less then common. It was a room full of diversity, every age group was represented, the gender split was even. There were hijabs and hair braids, beards and bare skin. It was a united nations of people whose common goal was expression. There was no bar, no drinks were served yet the energy was intoxicating. It was thick with joy, with acceptance and support. I left the place on a total high waiting for my next hit.

Before the night started I managed to catch the beautiful Sara Mansour, one of the co-founders of Bankstown Poetry Slam for a quick chat about how BPS came to be and the unexpected rewards it has brought.     Continue Reading

Bee Cruse – National Theatre of Parramatta

Bee Cruse

Energetic, passionate, open and wise beyond her 22 years Bee Cruse makes an impact from the moment you meet her. With a passion to leave the world better then when she found it she is on a mission to share her stories and those of her people, which as an indigenous young woman is no easy task.

Bee is a participant on National Theatre of Parramatta’s (NTofP) Creative Futures program. The program has given her the opportunity to assist director Vicki Van Hout on the production of Stolen, a play written by Jane Harrison twenty years ago about the stolen generation, a subject that is very close to home for Bee. We sat down for a chat and though tears and laughter from us both she spoke to me about her anger about not knowing her culture because it was taken from her, the power of theatre and how listening is the most important thing that anyone of us can do. Continue Reading