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
"The United States is 4.6% of the worlds people but still controls 50% of the worlds wealth and has a military that spends more than every other country in the world combined. I see this moment, as a moment that is very dangerous.. which is to say that the United States is a declining world economic power, similarly a declining political power, but what isn't declining is the military power. As you know from the 20th century that's a dangerous combination - a declining economic and political power but an overwhelmingly dominant military power. I think the national security state that we've seen organised since 9-11 in an unbelievably rapid way, which owes in no small part to Israel I must say, is a particular [example]."