SISTAH'S ARTS 

SISTAH'S ARTS 

“Through art, we put up a mirror to those parts of society we're not really allowed to question otherwise. It is a site of imagination. We can write our utopias into existence. We can paint a utopia. We can envision different types of living, existing and relationships and whatever else.”

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan 

POETRY & PROSE

POETRY & PROSE

"Art is maybe one of the only sites in which imagination and feeling are legitimate forms of knowledge and so I sometimes feel like, with poetry, that there is something about emotion and evoking emotion, that surpasses any other form."

1.

sistahs. by Theophina Gabriel

2.

dear little black girl by Moses Kamanga 

3.

Sista, Sista by Mattie Goddard

4.

It didn't feel like a period by Dayna Wolton 

5.

Gaslight by Gina Agnew 

6.

El Toreo by Sasha Kaan 

sistahs.


blinding dark
will always cut the light
in half
drown it swallow it
soothe the burn
my sisters and i
are tranquil night
our black shoulders carry
sleep before the dawn
we heal each other
with rough-palmed
souls, balmed with
oil, hearts rising like
dust we pack
the day with song
to break and build
break and build
and break
our dreams aloud
the sound of it
we can only sing
as
better days.

Theophina Gabriel

WOMENINSPORTS_project.jpg

Stills from HAIR. By Asia Ahmed 

Stills from Women In Sport. By Asia Ahmed 

It didn’t feel like a period

More like an exclamation mark

When I was told that my own irregular and painful ones

so painful it seemed I had to put my life on pause, each time I stopped to bleed

Were polycystic ovaries.

 

It didn’t feel like a period 

More like an exclamation mark

When I thought that my breast was sore because of menstruation or a tight bra

But really, I found out

There was a lump growing

Which had to be cut out

Taking part of a nipple with it.

 

So it didn’t feel like a period

More like a question mark

When I realised my body was telling me it was just not a hospitable home for life

Difficult to carry and sustain it

Difficult to feed, with mothers milk

The most natural thing in the world, 

they say.

 

The world has tried to tell me this womb and these breasts was my bodies primary function, so was I even a woman without?

These questions lapped like waves on the edge of my conscious while falling asleep

Though I had never believed that before 

And the feminist in me, wouldn’t entertain such a silly notion while awake

And you know what, I thought, 

it’s odd to feel this way when I 

never 

even 

wanted 

a goddamn baby, in the first place

But I guess I always wanted what I couldn’t have.

 

These things I tell myself do not matter

Feel like a betrayal

Of the body I’ve tried, learned, fought, taught myself to love

One I still don’t love sometimes as a sum of parts, but can appreciate as a whole.

A vessel that carries me safely through many storms

That while they may batter and bruise me

They do not and cannot break me.

 

For now, it is enough 

yet it is also everything

that I dare to write this love letter to my younger self who never thought she would see beauty in what I can now

And also I write for me, in this very moment. when I can’t help but think of my body as a failing

 

I write for her and in doing so I manage to remind myself 

how I love my brown skin that glitters and glows when I bathe in the warmth of the last of the summer sun

And the freckles that dance across it, with the reckless abandon of youth

And my brown eyes that shine brighter than the lights of the city that birthed me

And the hair of my legs, a gift from my ancestors and a recent accessory I now wear with pride

Even the mind that I wrestle with daily, I can love in this moment. 

because it is why I am who I am

And for now, at least, 

that is enough.

Dayna Wolton 

. By Daniela Gil Nieves & Niki Tse

_Unravel_ by Niki Tse (1).JPG

Unravel. By Niki Tse

_Vibrant Quatuor_ by Lola Kaeppelin & Al

Vibrant Quatuor. By Lola Kaeppelin & Alice Berry

image0.jpeg

El Toreo

 

I beckon him from an elevated plane,

Between us a chasm the breadth of a hair.

I gaze into cavernous, carnivorous pupils,

Spurred by the sweat and the smell of it,

By this audience of drinks and the moon.

 

He will not come quietly.

Not by his sureness in his legs,

He would have his horn in my guts before

The spark of reflex touches my feet,

He sees me pinned and prone but I 

Will not go quietly tonight.

 

I will most gladly have this dance

And spin him into fever,

Madura hips swinging freely round him,

My red lace frothing his nose,

Stirring him loose and predictable,

Terciro de muleta.

 

He can have me then,

Abandoned to his delirium,

And the players shall retire onstage

Until a sword is fetched.

Sasha Kaan

No Rest For The Wicked Queen. By Blanche Malet

_waning_ by minni harrop.jpeg

Waning. By Minni Harrop

dear little black girl 

 

i know you’re angry at da world 

cos your experiences wouldn’t have been so hard if you were white and that’s just that. 

i wanna start of by saying sorry

sorry the world never gave you a chance to speak

cos to me your voice is beautiful

why’s it that you’re considered an angry black woman and she’s considered a cute little girl 

sorry ur afro is considered messy 

and her straight pony tail with jelled down edges considered trendy 

 

dear little black boy 

you been taught that 

being black is freezing  

needing

starving 

thieving

receiving 

dirty looks from the police 

no hope from ur teachers 

they expect u end up in the streets 

i hate the state of the world lately 

 

i am a livid black woman 

i want to scream from the roofs tops 

because most days it actually feels like 

i can’t breathe 

and i want justice 

i want justice 

for tamir rice

trayvon martin

alton sterling 

kendrick johnson 

breona taylor 

free jibril asamji 

my brother was 17 when the system ate him up 

& now he doing 7 years

next time i’m gone get to hug my bro we gone be 27 

i want justice

Moses Kamanga

Sista, Sista

Sista sista how does it feel?

Holding the world up with your shoulders,

Balancing out the right and wrong 

Your smile is like sunshine in the morning, even when it is painted on

Legs grounded like trees, your arms the branches we all hang off and climb

Sista Sista I know there are 1000 constellations in your brain 

Your words like clouds painted across the sky. Your truth winter wind and your laughter summer sun

A multitude of emotions stitched across your face

 Each hair a blade of grass

 

Strength Wisdom Empathy Power

Rise up

I wish you could see you are what pieces the world together 

Sista Sista together we are always stronger.

Mattie Goddard

Gaslight

 

A shadow of a doubt

Lurks and flickers in flames of distrust

Igniting moments of uncertainty

The beast within me projected up the wall

 

Almost unrecognisable 

through your eyes

She scolds me with blindfolded guilt 

Through her ‘how could you?’s and ‘why?’s 

 

You dim my glow

To dissolve the shadow of

Your idle, unambitious truth.

A bruised ego striking back 

Whispering to my soul:

‘Everything you’ve done, I have proof’

 

You drain me.

Refusing to relent until you change me 

or rearrange me so I fit with your vision 

Of 

possessing me

obsessing me

digressing me from life 

 

To bind me to motherhood or cuff me as a wife.

 

Bellicose on both sides 

Hands covered with soot and coal 

Little fuel to survive…

 

 

Lucky for me. I’m electric.

Pioneering

Futuristic

Commandeering

Realistic

Fantastic

Bombastic

Not mouldable or elastic 

And I won’t spring back.

 

Your toxic monoxide has finally run out.

You can’t gaslight me. I don’t run on that.

 

Though your fire may burn, it’s my right to rescind

I’ll blow you out in one, like a candle in the wind

Gina Agnew

_waxing_ by minni harrop.jpeg

Waxing. By Minni Harrop

ARTIST SHOWCASE

ARTIST SHOWCASE

elsa1.jpeg
elsa2.jpeg
elsa3.jpeg

Elsa Gallimore 

Elsa Gallimore 

Elsa Gallimore is a London-based 3D textile designer, creating beautiful, eclectic works of art. 

Check out her work at Erillomag Textiles. 

icon_3purple_edited_edited.png