Subira in Swahili means ‘patience’, something that Brighton-based spoken word artist Subira Joy is quickly running out of. They will be bringing their unique brand of poetry to Folkestone as part of the New Queers on the Block Weekender. We caught up with Subira ahead of the performance...
Tell us what audiences can expect from your show?
A mix of fury and fun. I do spoken word that shouts at oppression and shouts with the marginalised. I take the p*** out of s*** people, take up space, and allow myself moments of rage, vulnerability and silliness.
What inspired you most when you were creating this work?
My work is about catharsis, so it's a lot of things that have been sitting in me for a while, given space to rise to the surface. My experiences as a queer, non-binary person of colour navigating a world that doesn't like to accept or respect any of these parts of me mean I always have something I need to get off my chest.
This performance will show some work-in-progress I've been doing with my twin, Wandia Nduku. We were inspired by recent reflections on our identities, differences, and similarities; we're curious about what it means to be twins in a world governed by the push and pull politics of assimilation and individualism.
You're performing as part of the New Queers on the Block weekend of LGBTQ+ art and performance. What is the influence of your queerness in your work?
My queerness speaks to my work the same way it speaks to my everyday life: its intrinsic to me so it's intrinsic to my performance. I've been lucky to be surrounded by queer theatre and arts, which means that I don't feel the pressure to explain, defend or minimise the ways in which my queerness takes the stage.
My work is about me and my experiences, and speaks to structural issues, as well as the experiences of anyone like me, so queerness is always present in the work and in the room.
Tell us a bit about how you came to be an artist
I've been writing poetry on and off since I was a kid, and eventually got persuaded into performing at society events and open mics when I was at uni. It's all been a bit of a blur after that, to be honest, but I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for the support of The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton - always making space for me and pushing me to do more.
Anything else you'd like to say to the good people of Folkestone?
I hope you enjoy my performance! I'm really grateful for the opportunity to bring my work here, and spread the angry black queer agenda!
Subira Joy will be performing at Creative Folkestone Quarterhouse on Saturday 2 November, 4.30pm as part of New Queers on the Block.
Free. Book tickets here.