University of Winchester, Faculty of Arts
Politics and Poetry
Qasim Shah’s Politics and Poetry was made in response to his visit to a Syrian refugee camp on the Turkish/Syrian border in March 2014. Shah was compelled to make the trip to highlight the plight of the refugees through artistic means while also fundraising for their cause. The live performance features an urban rap written, composed and performed by Shah against the video footage he directed and recorded with a film crew in the Syrian refugee camp. Politics and Poetry references the conditions in the refugee camp alongside Shah’s own experience coming of age in a housing estate with high social deprivation in Luton, United Kingdom. Whilst both sections of the performance are connected, the audience is invited to associate and cross-reference Shah’s autobiographical account of life in the housing estate, his experience as a young Muslim in the UK, and the conditions suffered by refugees in Syria.