Croydon’s young creative minds are invited to join the borough’s Poet Laureate, Shaniqua Benjamin, and take part in Voices of Croydon – her first online exhibition with the Museum of Croydon.
To launch the exhibition, Shaniqua has worked with young people from CMA (Croydon Music and Arts) to expand the diversity of the museum’s collection by writing poems in response to museum collections. She’s now calling on other young people from across the borough to join them in submitting their own work to add to the exhibition.
Croydon’s young Black, Asian and minority ethnic adults aged 18 to 25 can access a series of tutorials where Shaniqua will guide them through developing their own pieces of poetry and spoken word in response to the museum’s collections and their personal Croydon experiences. After completing the tutorials young people can use their skills to submit their poetry to be included in the exhibition.
Young people can find out more and get involved by visiting the Museum of Croydon website.
Shaniqua said: “This is my first residency as Croydon Poet Laureate and I was excited to work with young people in my home borough, hearing about their personal experiences and having the opportunity to amplify their amazing voices.
“I can’t wait to amplify more young voices in the Croydon community through the exhibition, as it is imperative that their voices are heard, their stories are told and they are represented in the Museum of Croydon, which tells our stories and will cement our place in Croydon’s legacy.
“I hope to see more of this kind of work take place in Croydon and I hope to be a part of it during the rest of my time as Poet Laureate, because it is the rich diversity of Croydon that makes it special.”
“Croydon is a massively creative community and poetry and spoken word is an important part of our cultural identity as it empowers our communities to tell their stories.
“As we look forward to our year as London Borough of Culture 2023, Shaniqua’s residency is an exciting opportunity for us to develop and celebrate our talented young poets, while making sure that the gem that is the Museum of Croydon stays relevant to our community and generations to come.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture and regeneration
The Voices of Croydon project is supported by a Diversity Matters grant from the Museum Development London.