Who’s Full?

Courtesy of Selina and Sai, tonight we interrogated our complex relationship with food through poetry, science and lived experience.
Acclaimed writer, Spread The Word’s former Young Poet Laureate for London and resident Shake!r Selina Nwulu showcased the result of her year-long exchange with members of the scientific community, unpacking the complexities of “eating well” in an interactive evening of spoken word, discussion and free-writing. Panel included insight from Momtaza Mehri and Maya Chowdhry.





Reading Group – ASSATA: An Autobiography

‘I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten cow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.

I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know anything at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.’

Our second Reading Group session was centred around ASSATA: An Autobiography. We discussed themes of the themes race, oppression, and womanism present in Assata Shakur’s written story and our own lives, and how the book had broadened and deepened our understanding of the liberation struggle. We drew connections to the modern day and conflation with Marvel’s Black Panther franchise – what is the reality of liberation fighters like Assata Shakur in 2018?

Grenfell Responses

Hi Shake! fam,

Here are a couple of things we have seen recently that have pieced together many issues surrounding Grenfell that we thought we would share:

Fighting Fire article – http://www.irr.org.uk/news/fighting-fire/

Colin Prescod and Daniel Renwick at the Institute of Race Relations have written a great article piecing together some key issues surrounding Grenfell including gentrification and the need for reclamation.


Grenfell Towers Burnin  –   https://www.facebook.com/nino.cartel.90/posts/198659510668284

El Nino & CX4, rappers from Latimer and Ladbrook Grove saw the Grenfell Tower fire and this is their response. This song has been performed in front of the Kensington & Chelsea Town Hall, telling them that we will not back down! 


Shake! #StatesOfViolence: Healing the Cuts

FREE! 5 day course on Race/Art/Media/Power at Brady Arts Centre 21-25 August 2017

Angry about the injustice you see around you?

Come shake tings up with performance poets, film-makers, musicians, artists & activists on a free 5 day course to creatively express frustrations & concerns about the world you live in.

Violence is present in all parts of our daily lives from racist policing, islamophobia, knife crime/death, war, terror and “counter-terror” (prevent),  to Brexit to Trump to May, #StatesofViolence will explore:

How can we heal, be safe and support ourselves in these violent times?

How can we break patterns of violence on and within our communities, with the rise of acid attacks, knife related deaths, islamophobic and racist attacks in London?

How do we repair and build resilient families, homes, communities and movements?

How do we use the genius of our ends/communities to resist and reimagine a world for and led by us?


Each day Shake! creative workshops will provide space to imagine what justice looks like, experiment with new ideas, learn new tools and fire up your imagination. The course will include:

>> interactive workshops, stimulating dialogue & skill-shares to creatively campaign for change with practising artists/activists/educators:




>PATRICE ETIENNE (NuWave Pictures)

> OSHANTI (Globe Poets)

> TEMI MWALE (4Front Media)


> SAARA AHMED (Kula Roots)

> LENA MOHAMED ( on islamophobia and Prevent and community welfare)

> AMINA GICHINGA (Take Back the City)

> ZAHRA DELILAH (Our Fathers and Us)

> MIKA MINIO-PALUELLO (Platform London)

> JORGE GOIA (South London Capoeira)


>> practical hands-on techniques in spoken word, online media, film/video, zine-making and music technology to develop your ideas around injustice and power.


>> access to a/v equipment, workshop spaces, rehearsal room, and refreshments at the Brady Arts Centre


>> opportunity to showcase your work and continued involvement in the Shake! Network and family..



** LIMITED PLACES AVAILABLE (for 16-25 year olds) **



FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1951541801802204/

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

The venue is wheelchair accessible and lunch is provided. We are committed to meeting access needs so please get in touch with Farzana on an individual discretionary basis.

For more info, email: farzana@platformlondon.org



Shake! is initiated and coordinated by Platform in association with:

Brady Arts Centre // Liquorice Fish // NuWave Pictures // Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust // Healing Justice London // 4Front Media // Take Back the City // Our Fathers and Us //

Platform is a company limited by guarantee no. 2658515 and a registered charity no 1044485.

Grenfell Tower – website + further support

Please share far and wide and get the info to the ground:

Some residents who have been given temporary accommodation are being told they are going been kicked out/moved out soon.( in days). Please pass on HJA Housing helpline – free housing advice for #GrenfellTowerFire survivors and residents in similar properties 0808 274 9308

Shelter has a London helpline offering free legal advice – it will be open all weekend: 0344 515 1540

For anyone who is undocumented, has precarious immigration status, or was subletting and was a resident of the Grenfell (or has otherwise been affected) and can’t currently access legal support, then get in touch with MiCLU for support). They are ready to support.

Please spread this information by word of mouth too.

Skin Deep: POC Resistance – Stories of Climate Justice


Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street E1 6AB
T 020 7650 2350


From India to the US via the UK, Skin Deep will look at how different communities continue to organise for climate justice, and what different methodologies and histories we can draw from in creating a broader understanding of climate change in it’s varied manifestations.

Weaving together music, videos, sound, art, and poetry, we will look at why race, gender, ancestral knowledge and colonial histories should be at the centre of the climate justice movement.

This is a collaborative event created by Skin Deep, Voices That Shake, Platform and Virtual Migrants.

Skin Deep is a London-based multimedia platform that amplifies voices of colour through the discussion of race and culture, inspiring much needed conversations around themes that are usually misrepresented or depoliticised by the mainstream media.


We have a few free tickets for this event for those that would like to attend, but are unable to pay the full ticket price. Please email 2degrees@artsadmin.co.uk to request one of these.

Grenfell Fire – What you can do to help

LIVE & updated info: What you can do to support #GrenfellTower fire survivors.

Here is a shareable google doc with practical steps people can take to help those affected by the devastating fire.

Info on:
Action & Background – centring the residents narrative
Support for those affected – where & who
Places for donations
What is being requested
Where you can donate (crowdfunders)
Collection times and areas ( locally)
Stay updated & Solidarity
Housing offering support – rooms/ and houses to stay.

Please share widely and lets make this a sustained and collective effort.

You can input in how you would like to support/ housing/lifts/food. This is being sent to key organisers and community centres on the ground, to help streamline and co-ordinate efforts. Please input. This is not just for today but the next couple weeks. Link is at the bottom of the Gdoc- Grenfell Fire: How can you Help and here https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSdfUgysJQomHr8aJ…/viewform…


New Narratives: Shake AMC Skills Share


“Held every summer in Detroit, [this] conference brings together a vibrant
and diverse community of people using media to incite change: filmmakers,
radio producers, technologists, youth organizers, writers, entrepreneurs,
musicians, dancers, and artists. We define “media” as anything you
use to communicate with the world.
You are a media-maker!”

This is a a quote from the Allied Media Conference in Detroit website. It is a conference that has made a powerful impact on the radical media grapevine for 10 years.

It was poignant that Shake! was to be the first UK contingent to contribute to the other 300 strong  radical spaces, workshops and training sessions that connect people from all over the US, who are passionate and committed to sharing skills and experiences in radical alternative media. Media designed to mend, empower and amplify the voices of  marginalised groups and communities.

Shake! Participants and team, Ro, Jinan, Hasan, Dhelia, Paula, Farzana and Zena crowdfunded to take Re-membering, Re-imagining, Reparations – a provocation and dialoguing session devised by the team and the young people – to share radical processes that deconstructsystems of oppression in our everyday lives and envisage what the world could/would be outside of them. We also went to see how our US counterparts are engaging with new media and radical thought, seeking to mine the past, re-imagine the present and create new cultures of resistance for the future.

The Allied Media conference was valuable to visit and contribute to. Equally as important was our time at Hush House where the Elder Activists, Mama Simmons and Baba Charles gave us valuable knowledge of the ways struggle and revolutionary action take the most unlikely forms, energies and narratives in the toughest, most neglected parts of old Motor City. We saw many echos from the communities in London experiencing violent gentrification that fractures communities, alienates the youth  and isolates our Elders.

On Saturday 10th December, Detroit Shake!ers will be sharing what they have learned from our visit with members of the public, with special thanks to those who donated to the crowd fund.

These skill shares aim to help us all cultivate new narratives and strategies for our campaigns and social justice movements, build robust community organizing, which in turn creates resilient, safe and healthier communities. We will be exploring reconnecting the continuum of the stories from marginalised communities through oral history, archiving them in radical libraries, creating data infographs that bring storytelling of surviving the system into 21st century media.

The four creative, arts and media-based sessions will be:

*Surviving School: Re-humanising Learning – Dhelia Snoussi
*Telling Stories Through Visual Data – Rotimi Skyers
*Oral histories, Intergenerationality Spaces: These Walls Have Memory – Zena Edwards
*Radical Libraries and Archiving: Changing the Narrative – Paula Serafini

We have a few spaces left so would like to invite you  grab your tickets for

New Narratives: Shake Skills Share
Date: Saturday 10th December
Time: 10:30am – 2pm,
Venue: Rivington Place, EC2A 3BA
(This venue is wheelchair accessible. )
Free for donors of our AMC crowdfunder, we also have concessionary and free tickets for access, please email farzana@platformlondon.org.

Click here for tickets via Eventbrite


Breathing Out: Shake! Showcase #7

#BreathingOut Shake! Showcase no.7 will feature poetic, filmic, zinic and musical responses to social and political injustice from our recent intensive course: SurvivingTheSystem: Building Economies & Ecologies Of Resistance.

Hosted by Numbi Arts who will begin the evening with a theatre scratch night showcasing exciting short plays from emerging writers, actors and directors including resident artists Elmi Ali and Fatuma Khaireh.

A Dj Set from MogaDisco will close the night playing a selection of vinyl as well as also hosting the official after-party (local venue to be confirmed). The hottest sounds ranging from Afrobeat, Somali Funk to Highlife, Nigerian Jùjú to Soukous to keep you jamming through the night…

See you on the 10th December @ Rich Mix London.


Numbi Arts – Nurturing local and global conversations collaboratively creating platforms to celebrate diverse voices producing workshops, events and SCARF literary arts magazine and Numbispace. An ongoing research project investigating contemporary arts practice from pre-civil war Somalia to the present day Diaspora.

MogaDisco are four collectors with a passion for the music of Africa.


This event is suitable for ages 16+
This event is wheelchair accessible.

Surviving the System

Surviving the System

by Zena Edwards

So Shake is back.

artwork by Anni Movsisyan
artwork by Anni Movsisyan

 We have been on hiatus for nearly 8 months and we’re back with a new Shake intensive course. #SurvivingTheSystem takes a birds eye view of the planet, zooms in and looks at the streets of everyday living and reflects on our lives as individuals. Examining the current and disturbing issues of our time, it seems we are in for a future of more difficulty after an already bleak few decades now. The political shift to the right in favour of big business and property development, with the marketing machine of mass media, many of us find ourselves numb, in shock, and emotionally, mentally and spiritually brutalized. When we look to the institutions and structures meant to be sources of security, we find them to be disrespectful and uncaring. Abusive.

 We are coerced and forced to accept cuts to education and healthcare. Gentrification and immigration prejudice manifests as cultural cleansing and violence, post-Brexit which clumped migration, immigration inefficiency and refugee status’s into one dangerous xenophobic national security and economic risk. In the west, many young people who see themselves as the future working generations are looking at their parents and forbears asking “ What the hell were you thinking?” post Brexit. The sentiment is rooted in deep disappointment and mourning from the the violent severing from the opportunities of belonging to the European block.


Labour. Violence. Addiction
A person’s labour and livelihood is linked so closely to well being, and such deliberate scare-mongering is shock tactics to confuse, misinform, and in consequence heighten stress levels of every life where mistrust and frustration is a genuine societal problem.

Right now, in UK schools, pupils are asked to bring ID and in effect become ‘snitches’ on other economically migrant family members. Employers are now asked to register ‘foreign’ workers. Brexit has seen a rise in xenophobic and islamaphobic attacks. Policing in the UK is proving itself to be on par in its disproportionality of racial profiling and institutional rot. The intersection of race and class fertilizes an explosive relationship. An aggressive xenophobia, reminiscent of the fascist era of the 1940’s, is nurturing violent outbursts on the streets.

The dynamic push in the conversation on transgender issues has blown the doors off conservative binary ideas of gender and gender roles, and exposed decades long injustices and societal stigmas for LGBTQI communities dating back to the 1950’s. And you do not have to dig too deeply to find out about the high levels violence people from the transgender community are subjected in 2016.

Being so evidently the ‘other’ because of the colour of your skin or outdated gender identification leaves a person increasingly susceptible to the harshest consequences policy influenced by big business in favour of the power of the £pound rather than the asset of humanity.



Persistent and pervasive mainstream advertising has constructed a happiness-void, force-feeds some of the most dangerously addictive objects, foods, substances, trash culture. People become addicted to anything that fills drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, shopping, destructive relationships, violence. This societal destabilisation enables corporate manufacturers with political clout to continue to grow their wealth, from exploited homelands and bodies of the historically colonised, now economically indentured and (in)visibly enslaved to seduce, sedate and distract us from the main agenda of, yes, profit over people.

Our humanness has been reduced to a commodity, a bargaining chip, and expendable currency, a consumable – the body and life energy, hopes and aspirations become this system’s food and it has taken its toll on our sense of morality, purpose and humanity. To be consumable, we dehumanize and are dehumanized, brutalize and are brutalized, and ultimately, distracting, detracting and denying us our innovative, resilient, balanced human selves. The irony is that we consume to consume ourselves. All oppression is connected.

People are unhappy (to say the least). There is a visceral response to that which cannot be seen but which is all around you, with a grip that seems impossible to avoid. How are we meant to thrive in immersed in the toxic white noise of commercialisation and the claustrophobia of the war on terror.

Existing requires the seriousness of thought, innovation, creativity as the ‘traditional’ systems of establishing security has proved itself to be worn out, to be lopsided, from its colonial root, against the poor and the vulnerable.  To move beyond surviving to thrive, a person must hear their voice. (Even if it shakes…). They must not be afraid to comment when freedom of speech is a biased privilege and silencing is a commonplace micro-aggression. Speak, hear and be inspired to take action in resistance to the systems blatantly disrespects of its own laws.

It is necessary to critique all you know of the world and what you have learned requires reflection to see the damage done. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking therapy. It’s fearless interrogation but compassionate solutionizing to repair the unwellness and imbalances and remedy the problems we face in the streets we walk. Examine our daily interactions where prejudices and tensions due to the strain of pressing economic, cultural and mass distraction mediums spinning us out of our right, level headed and fear free minds.

Sustaining.Dare to be Powerful
Technology and social media, networking and millennial thinking are enabling innovation to command and create new spaces for the quest for The Alternatives. Communities are collaborating to form sustainable social enterprises and alliances in greening, housing and health care movements as well as organizing to support and champion the needs of the most vulnerable such as reclaiming (not occupying) empty properties due to gentrification to provide space and raise awareness around the closing of domestic violence shelters. It is evident that local issues are not a priority and communities are empowering themselves.

We have been told the story that ‘there is no alternative’.  The alternative is telling our stories to ourselves outside of the system, flexing our imagination and exploring using creativity, transformation through the word and film to project a re-imagined future. The alternative is that future.

To survive the system, you must know it well. The Shake team doesn’t shy away from discussions that interrogate it to challenge to provoke poignant and accessible creativity that highlights the potential in all young people.

You must also not be afraid to comment and take action against its flaws. Especially injustices that hurt communities in a seemingly irreparable ways. It’s a space for intentional reflection with the purpose for rehumanizing in a dehumanizing era. We have been told the story that ‘there is no alternative’.  The alternative is the future.

In this Shake course, ‘#Survivingthesystem’ the Shake team pulls together 3 urgent themes in response to the lives of the young people they have worked with over the last 3 years. We aim to look at breaking cycles of violence, addiction and labour though the principles of healing justice, reparations, transformative learning through film, spoken word/poetry, zine-making and community organizing.


To sign-up, email platformshake@gmail.com for an application form.

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