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Art, as told by Potent Whisper

Potent Whisper is a London based rapper, community organiser and spoken word artist.

Known for his ‘Rhyming Guide to NHS Privatisation’, his success lead to the release of his new Grime EP ‘New Radical’ - a collection of tracks which tackles political discussion.

In light of the upcoming U.K. 2017 snap election, he created a new piece “The Rhyming Guide to Voting” - an encouragement to register to vote. To vote in the General Election on June 8th, you need to register by 11:59pm on May 22nd, 2017.

What is art?

Art is perhaps the most effective vehicle for political resistance that we have available to us. Not only does it empower individuals, but communities. Art creates a space for people to come together…to meet each other…to share our humanity…to celebrate our entrust our vulnerabilities to listen to each other…to teach each other and to love each other.

Amongst the heavy cloud of propaganda that is the mainstream media, deep within the individualistic ideology of a consumerist society, at a time when big corporations can purchase, deface and devalue entire schools of thought, art provides an independent platform to tell our stories, to share our truths; a space for us to find ourselves, to know each other and rise together.

The creative worlds best-kept secret?

There is a DJ/ Graffiti artist named Steaz who has been a huge inspiration to me over the years. Beyond being an incredibly talented writer, he uses his art to support and better the lives of those in his community. Some years ago - before I started campaigning - I saw him helping a few university students with their banner making. I wondered to myself why he would spend his time working on something that few would see, and something would perhaps make no difference. There was no glory to be found behind the scenes, I thought to myself.

At that stage of my life I didn't realise that there is of course a huge amount of power, beauty and significance in those small unnoticed moments. I have come to realise that these small moments are themselves the revolution. These moments change people’s lives. Steaz creates not only art, but the world that he wants to see. People like Steaz don't seek fame or glory. They are not driven by ego. They are often overlooked by history for these reasons. Yet these are often the people who sacrifice the most, and ultimately make the biggest change. Having had the honour of his presence in my life - to whatever small degree - has certainly enriched my life and people like Steaz should be celebrated (however much they may dislike the attention!)

Free expression

I don't aim to please myself or anyone else. This isn't therapy for me or entertainment for anyone else. My work is created from necessity. I use art because I recognise it's ability to create change in the world. Having said that, "political art" can often come across as preachy which is an instant switch-off moment for a lot of people. For this reason a lot of my work is in trying to find a balance between delivering serious content, and entertainment. People are more welcoming of ideas and information when they are enjoying the process of receiving it.


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