Shake! has really helped me to connect with other poets, artists, and activists that I thought didn't even exist until I started the course. I am still learning and discovering through the network of young activists that was created post Shake! 2014 and 2015, because it was made to be such a safe space where we could all share our ideas. I am grateful for the organisers of Shake! and my fellow Shake-ers for opening so many doors for me and helping me to explore my activist side that I hadn't really uncovered in much depth before. Also, without the platform, I would never have been able to discover that my love for poetry is a tool, I wouldn't have written all the poems I have till date, and I wouldn't be sitting here typing this with a poetry anthology by my side. I've been much more reflective and active as a poet after the course, and the voice I never really used was finally able to be heard through my writing that was supported by the Shake! facilitators. It would be fair to say that Shake! has played a significant role in my life as a young person trying to survive in London - I wouldn't have been able to progress and develop as a poet without it!
I definitely wouldn't be the writer I am today without Shake!. The course gave me the confidence to write about the things i care about and to use creative writing as a social tool. Before Shake! i considered myself to be a writer, but had never shared or performed my poetry. Shake! was the first time I wrote with other people. I was terrified but was surrounded be people who were supportive of my work and equally convicted in theirs.
After the course, it inspired me to continue write about my own injustices and the world around me. I was offered support from facilitators and guidance about progressing my writing and when things did begin to move forward they were supportive and enthusiastic. I was also offered free places on writing courses which again have shaped and influenced my thinking and writing.
I now feel like a more established writer (with still a lot to learn!) but i think shake and the links I have made from it have been foundational to the progress I have made. Shake! and Platform continue to be an essential anchor to my writing.
Shake has been an incredible experience which has helped me in multiple ways. It has been an educational experience, giving me the tools to tackle serious issues with an open mind and use this knowledge to organise campaigns to help make positive change in my community. Everyone at Platform has been extremely helpful in providing career opportunities, study support, spaces to organise and most importantly sharing information about events and current affairs both locally and globally. The course provided a space to be creative and break down the barriers preventing creativity, which has a very productive effect on my personal projects. Being amongst such talented artists is great in terms of networking and getting constructive feedback on my work. The course has also helped me with mental health and well-being, which benefits me massively every day.
Shake has literally changed my life, it has provided me with what I call "true" education and has helped me to find my creativity, improve my critical reasoning skills, grow in knowledge, and empower me as an individual. The facilitators have really been able to create a safe space which provides you with the tools you need to gain confidence in your abilities. You are taught to question the status quo and are provided with a ready made community that are there to genuinely listen to your issues and concerns and help you to make sense of this. Before Shake I had never performed poetry, but after shake I was given confidence in my abilities as a poet and the power of my voice to make a difference in society, after experiencing just one week of Shake. I have performed at venues such as the House of Commons, LSE, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Bestival. I have also written a self help book for young people which is designed to empower them through the different pressures that they face in society. Having Shake in my life has definitely improved my well being, after you have taken the course, Shake continues to operate as a community, and provides a much needed safe space where you learn how to care for yourself and tackle the different pressures that you face in society.
Shake really takes a holistic view to learning, it is as much about the person as it is about the art that you wish to create, The participants are also an integral part of how the organisation is shaped and you are often given positions of leadership, that you would not necessarily have in your everyday life for example we got the opportunity to run CPD workshops. Shake is amazing and I would recommend the course to anyone!
The Shake course has offered me a beautiful network of creative people, events that inspire me, and has always been a supportive space to grow. An instance of this is how it led to my involvement in film-making research after the course with a facilitator. Having regular updates about opportunities, events and meet-ups is extremely useful and uplifting and I feel that it has fundamentally shaped my experience of London for the better.
Before I came to Shake! I knew nothing about the workshop or the work that is facilitated by those organizing Shake! A week ,later and I’ve woken up everyday this week wishing the workshop was at least two weeks in duration. Trying to sum up all I experienced while there is too difficult when trying to explain to people who’ve asked me what it’s all about.
During my day to day life I don’t often get much time to myself let alone for myself, reminding myself I need to dedicate time to self-care is just that mostly; something I have to remind myself of, to remind me that I’m worth time and expense and solitude. To be somewhere that takes a holistic approach to survival and navigating this system as a POC and a black woman in a predominantly white privilege, cis male world is so refreshing. From the sharing of parts of our stories and personal lives to the zine making, brainstorming and even the deliciously healthy food prepared for us every lunch-time it helped me remember who I am and how I really needed that time and space to just be and to let honesty, creativity and friendship blossom.