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Creative Freedom

“Who belongs and who does not belong to ‘England’s concrete jungle?’ The work of these writers demonstrates not only do they belong, they also feel a powerful freedom to rewrite the story in a manner which makes sense to them.” Caryl Phillips


Tanya Chan-Sam, Khadijah Ibrahiim, Sai Murray, Seni Seneviratne, Rommi Smith
United Kingdom
Date published
23 Oct 2007

Creative Freedom: The FWords anthology, features new work by eight of Yorkshire’s most talented literary and visual artists. The writers and artists were asked to respond to the Parliamentary Act of 1807 to abolish the British Slave Trade, focusing on the theme of Freedom.

Addressing a wide range of subjects – from oppression and restitution in 19th-century and contemporary South Africa to wry reflections on the thirst for freedom from a formerly imprisoned poet – this collection is an elegant exploration of the true meaning of liberation and its ironies in modern society. 

The writing is beautifully complemented by images of the artworks produced in response to the writing: 
‘Flags for Freedom’ – a series of batiks by Oluseyi Ogunjobi, and ‘Paths to Freedom’ – a series of paintings by Fosuwa Andoh.

“Intelligent, witty, wry and passionate, the contents of ‘FWords’ are a salutary reminder of the need to redefine and remake continually what we mean by ‘freedom’…” 
Professor Shirley Chew – Editor: Moving Worlds

Tanya Chan-Sam, Khadijah Ibrahiim, Jack Mapanje, Simon Murray, Seni Seneviratne, Rommi Smith, and visual artists Fosuwa Andoh & Seyi Ogunjobi.

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Khadijah Ibrahiim

Khadijah Ibrahiim was born in Leeds of Jamaican parentage. Educated at the University of Leeds, she is a literary activist, theatre maker and published writer, who combines’ inter-disciplinary art forms to re-imagine poetry as performance theatre.

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Rommi Smith

Dr Rommi Smith is a multi-award-winning poet, playwright, theatre-maker, performer, librettist and scholar. She has held numerous prestigious international residencies for organisations ranging from the British Council, to the BBC; The Florence Nightingale Museum to The Houses of Parliament. Appointed as the BBC Poet in Residence for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and Poet in Residence for BBC Music Live, Rommi has written and performed extensively across BBC Radio. She has been awarded commissions for programmes including: From Fact to Fiction; BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Drama; Poetry Please, Late Junction; The Verb and Woman’s Hour. Rommi’s contribution to Woman’s Hour was a selected feature for Weekend Woman’s Hour.

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Seni Seneviratne

Seni Seneviratne, born and raised in Leeds, Yorkshire is of English and Sri Lankan heritage. She has given readings, performances and workshops in UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Egypt and Kuwait. She currently works as a freelance writer, mentor, trainer and creative consultant. Her poem 'A Wider View' is included on the AQA GCSE poetry syllabus.

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Tanya Chan-Sam

Tanya Chan-Sam is a South African writer.

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Sai Murray

Sai Murray is a writer, poet and graphic designer of Bajan/Afrikan/English heritage. His debut poetry collection, Ad-liberation, was published by Peepal Tree in 2013 and was described as: “social commentary at its best… wry, witty and biting… traverses standard poetry and prose” by The Jamaica Gleaner.

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