Samina Parveen is a teen spoken-word poet from India. Below is one of her poems on body shaming.
Midnight eyes mirror the truth, Dusky brown skin echoes the bitterness Echos reciprocate the four walls Adjectives accustomed to the hearing eardrum Fat, large, obese, big, thick. eyes drenched in saline droplets The blurry eye looked towards the hip line
Stomach growled like an acidic monster Calming the hunger, I gasped in the smell of water That feeling of having water on an empty stomach Trying to suppress my hunger For a perfect body? Torturing myself to get that Hourglass shape
Rage quickened my blood Throwing away those pills, supplements Moving away from the Scale weight I stared at the mirror And my body Why do I torture it? To look pretty? Gazing at midnight eye I mirrored the truth I want to beautiful, not pretty
Below you can also find her two spoken-word poems. (Both provide closed captions.)
I am Hannah Flores, a 17-year-old award-winning spoken word poet from Toronto, Ontario Canada and I hope to put smiles on my audience’s faces in this era of uncertainty, changing the world one poem at a time.
My film/poem is the Winner of the 2020 Write the World Spoken Word Poetry Competition, a current Semi-Finalist film for the 2020 Lift-Off Global Network First-Time Filmmaker Sessions and a Changing Minds (Community Access Inc.) Film Festival 2020 Featured Film.
This was entirely filmed, written, produced, directed, and voiced by me, and I was inspired by the millions of quarantine stories from around the globe. I love to travel, and I am deeply saddened that I will be stuck at home for a while, so I incorporated some footage from my travels throughout the film. Being born in the height of the SARS outbreak, having lived through the Ebola crisis and now living in the Covid-19 pandemic has given me a unique perspective on human behaviour patterns in health-related epidemics. It has further fueled my passions for global health and neuroscience.
I have been an advocate for student voice across my school board for the past 6 years and that is what inspired me as well to create my podcast Punchline! with hannahfloresthepoet which delivers poetry and perspective for the young and the young at heart on all platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, etc.). Every Friday, I will discuss the issues that young people want to hear about and I am currently calling for guests to be on the show! This is open to anyone who wishes to be featured and talk about something that they are passionate about, as I want my platform to continue to be a megaphone for all types of student voices and stories.
As Covid-19 continues to envelope the lives of people across the globe, we must not lose ourselves in the process. We need to practice social distancing, but we cannot socially distance ourselves from each other’s humanity. Everyone must think outside of themselves, as this is a frightening and unprecedented moment in time where we are all in the same boat. It is difficult to stay grounded but do not lose hope, we will get past this together.
Below you can find the written version of her short film “If the World Was A Movie.”
If The World Was A Movie Written and performed by: Hannah Flores
This poem is dedicated to the people of the world
I know a place That’s always moving Where there’s something in the air that makes sleep useless
If The World Was A Movie You would see so many people walk by And never stop to notice As if they are just extras But what if I told you That they are the movie We are the movie
If the world was a stop motion film Each picture would be a moment frozen in time Yet still moving forward Like bad internet service Claustrophobia ensues as we quarantine ourselves with our own fear Thursday March 12, 2020 was the first day that I felt trapped in my own hand washing Turning the Happy Birthday song into a timer Dehydrating my sense of hope and my skin all at the same time
While some of us are basking in our privilege Of stockpiling things Not out of need, but our own fear If the world was a movie It would expose how those who bought wipes to resell and made $100,000 off of innocent, scared people And how those who bought enough food to feed a village Still look down on those fleeing war and famine with no Walmart to turn to And it would tell them that any phobia is a toxin in itself
Or maybe it’s a silent film In a world where you see colour but everything feels black and white With 5 million children out of school right now you’d think it would be louder Where I realize that by the time this poem is finished, all of my stats will be outdated And there are so many voices screaming at you from all directions Saying everything and nothing that you want to hear To the point where your native tongue sounds like a foreign language To the point where you drown out this flood until it turns to white noise Then nothing at all
What if the film was a black screen All the lights, cameras and actions are out Sun extinguished and stars left to wander
Smothered by a red sea of businesses dropping like flies Where we’re all left in the dark
But this grey area Sets a backdrop for colour A home for sun-spilled faces
If the world was a movie I’d kaleidoscope the technicolor stories that we hold behind our eyes How we build bridges, write books and try not to hold grudges The heart of a cosmopolitan among the cosmos We are nothing short of stars Each mind a new kit of lenses to take different angles on the same avenues The key is our delicate balance of thinking independently together Threads of streets woven into grand tapestries
If the world was a film It would have no beginning, middle or end It would just play on Imagine all of this Translated by the cry of time moving through us But COVID-19 would only last for one frame
If I made a movie about the world I would tell you not to socially distance ourselves from each other’s humanity
A documentary of diversity Where divided nations Form a unifying pulse An involuntary muscle with conscious intent Of not cancelling hope Not cancelling love Not cancelling life Employing the trillions of cells in our bodies to keep moving
Cinema can be the most beautiful fraud in the entire world But what if I told you that this is real
What if I made a movie about the world My beloved home Where the extras avoiding cracks in the sidewalks Become the stars Beacons of light in falls of Broadway darkness Where we are the movie
I was never understood as a child. I am 16, and I am still not understood. I love art because art has no definition of what is supposed to be or look like. We probably all had that experience where you drew a cat, for example, and you thought it looked good, but then you look at it far away and you’re like ‘is that a cat or a dog?’ I draw mainly because I love drawing. I love having no rules to follow, no one to impress except myself. Each drawing I draw I put love into. Even if it is “bad” I will still post it. Why? Because I learned that if I throw away each bad drawing, then I have no way of learning what I did wrong. I stopped drawing when I was ten because my drawing didn’t look like the drawings I saw in the classroom, and I was made fun of for that. Looking back I know that I let other people’s opinions change the way that I felt about this, so I made my Instagram art page simply because I love to draw. I made this account to see if people would love it, which they do. I hope you like it too.
Have a favorite celebrity? Message @artbyme56 and see your favorite celebrity in art form! Be sure to follow them for more.