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DIRTY PASSPORTS: Review by Daisy Remington

Updated: Apr 30



Curated by Nathan Joe featuring - Samuel Te Kani, Aiwa Pooamorn and Gemishka Chetty, Jai Selkirk, and Takunda Muzondiwa


Review by Daisy Remington

Mentor: Dione Joseph


The remarkable Nathan Joe, playwright and performance poet, has curated an incredible lineup of BIPOC poets to entertain, inform and challenge audiences in an hour long production aptly titled ‘Dirty Passports’. Samuel Te Kani, Aiwa Pooamorn and Gemishka Chetty, Jai Selkirk, and Takunda Muzondiwa present us with a banquet of perspective into culture both shared and personal.


Each poem invites us to laugh, snap, and sigh. We are invited into truth, into deeper understanding, we are privileged guests of the most personal. of their unique perspectives. MC Manu Vaea is deft as he refreshes the palate between poets with hilarious antidotes that are both confronting and familiar.


Each poet performs a selection of poems that challenges and entices and the last to take to the stage is Takunda Muzondiwa. An increasingly prolific young poet, her rhythm and cadence is mesmerising, she knocks, we enter into her world, transported through pieces of her soul. I find myself gripped by her words; held in a spell she weaves with her verses. She speaks to her black experience, in all its detail, she honours herstory, while simultaneously articulating the struggles she, as a member of the African diaspora, experiences here in Aotearoa.


Emotions among the audience are palpable. Using gestures and movement as punctuation marks to her truth, she opens each poem in Shona, reminding us of the multiple worlds inhabited by single bodies. Takunda’s second poem is both intimate and hanuting, tears in her eyes, she raises up the other, often unspoken, forced migration experienced as a queer black woman. Each poem is a cracked piece of glass, a reflection of herself that she presents, unembellished with us.


Powerful, moving and evocative, Dirty Passports will be at The Basement tonight and tomorrow (31 March and 1 April). These poets are not to be missed!


Get your tickets by clicking the link https://basementtheatre.co.nz/whats-on/2021/3/dirtypassports


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