Finding a space as a brown girl where I feel secure, comfortable, and safe can be difficult. A new of collective of four core members (Shagufta K, Amani Z Saeed, Shareefa Energy and Afshan D’Souza Lodhi), however, Golden Tongue has changed that for me. It seeks to bring South Asian women together under a protective blanket of poetry, spoken word, and samosas.
They launched their open mic night, Golden Tongue, at Rich Mix in Shoreditch on March 2. Shruti Chauhan opened the evening, paving the way for an open mic segment, which was followed by poetry spoken by the four core members.
“It enabled me to feel proud of being brown.”
An intimate audience came into the space, samosa and chutney in hand, to listen to the melodic words of the collective, as well as their peers. Individuals, with bravery in abundance, came to the stage to share their stories, from the powerful women in their lives, to their intense hatred of avocados.
Encouraging whoops, cheers, and clicks, Golden Tongue was a loud night, one that got louder during the open mic segment, where a number of talented audience members got up and bared their souls.
Golden Tongue enabled me to feel proud of being brown. It spoke to the anger, the joy, the indifference, of being a South Asian woman. In the current climate, it can be easy to dismiss one’s identity, reducing it to being problematic, unfortunate, or an unnecessary evil. But Golden Tongue was a space that placed South Asian women at the centre of the narrative, having so long been unfairly put to the side, both in the public and private sphere.
Most importantly, It was a night that was long overdue.
The next Golden Tongue event is on April 26, at 93 Feet East. The link to the Facebook event can be found here.