Palestinian performance poet and BDS activist Remi Kanazi is currently touring England. Astonishingly he is giving 22 performances in 19 days, starting and ending in London and in between visiting more of England in those few days than many residents see in a lifetime! That energy that enables such a packed schedule is very evident in his electrifying performance of political poetry mixed with stand up. His message is refreshingly uncompromising, sharing the struggles and concerns of his people through the power of words.
We were privileged to experience two of his performances. Here we include photos from his performance at Newham-Jenin event in London (13 Nov 2011) and the video from his Brighton performance (15 Nov 2011) which was for a full hour followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers.
Remi, based in New York City, is the editor of Poets For Palestine and the author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine. His political commentary has been featured by news outlets throughout the world and his poetry has taken him across North America and the Middle East. He recently appeared in the Palestine Festival of Literature as well as Poetry International at London’s Southbank. He is a recurring writer in residence and advisory board member for the Palestine Writing Workshop.
His book of poetry "Poetic Injustice - writings on Resistance and Palestine" is highly recommended and is available for sale at poeticinjustice.net.
Some of the powerful three line poems from the book are reproduced below. Read a great account of the Brighton event here.
These are not rocks They are the bulldozed headstones of our forefathers
People say Palestine made me political I think it made me human
Free Palestine is not a keychain in your back pocket
From my rooftop I can see an Israeli sunbathing on the balcony my grandfather built
Tell a refugee in Bourj el-Barajneh that pragmatism is the reason she will not return
"Don't tell us what to accept and what not to accept. Don't teach us what is our right, and what is not our right. For my mother’s house, is my mother’s house. It can never become a zionist place. What is wrong is Israel, you have to tell the truth, what is this nonsense about accepting a racist entity that considers us sub-human, whilst they see themselves as super-human. Don't ever be tempted to tell a lady who has jut been raped that it was okay for her to be raped. And my people have been raped, and rape cannot be accepted, the whole of Palestine will be free - from the sea to the river, from the north to the south, and the refugees will return, and I will go back to my mother’s house. If I don't, I assure you my children will, my grandchildren will. One day we shall return!"