Meet Jaspreet Kaur, the artist using spoken word poetry to discuss everything from periods to mental illness
|Posted on May 9, 2017 at 3:10 PM|
Jaspreet Kaur is a total badass.
Not in the stereotypical way. She doesn’t ride a motorbike or open beers with her teeth.
Jaspreet Kaur is an inspiration. She’s tough. She’s no holds barred.
Her way of tackling the tough stuff? Spoken word poetry.
A teacher at a secondary school in central London, Jaspreet started doing performance poetry a year and a half ago, finally finding the courage to share the poetry she’d been writing for a decade.
Now, she uses the form to inspire women and affect social change, tackling everything from the stigma around periods and body hair to mental health and decolonisation.
‘I was just so intrigued to see whether or not anyone was able to connect with my words and if it was able to inflict enough emotions to trigger positive social change,’ Jaspreet told metro.co.uk.
‘The first poem I performed was entitled ‘Queens and Corpses’ which focused on the 60 million missing girls in India and the ongoing son preference in the South Asian community.
‘It sparked such a positive response and the spoken word journey has been snowballing since then’
Now, alongside teaching, Jaspreet performs her poetry on her YouTube channel and blog, Behind the Netra, and on stage at events, festivals, and rallies.
‘I feel that spoken word can be such a powerful tool to impact social change and protest against injustice,’ she explains.
‘We are a society that has conditioned ourselves to bottle everything in, we associate strength with silence, when it reality sharing our thoughts and feelings will help us as individual and as a society.
‘Poetry has helped me find my voice, so now I’ve got to share it.’
Jaspreet mainly focuses on issues of gender and women’s rights, using her poetry to remind everyone that sexism is still a thing and feminism is entirely necessary.
She’s not one to stay quiet or pretend injustice isn’t happening. She’s going to talk about it.
‘Although women’s rights have come a long way in the past 100 years, the idea that women are now completely equal and thus no longer need feminism just isn’t true,’ says Jaspreet.
‘Yes, women do have more social, political and economic rights than ever before — but the fact is, we still have to deal with the harmful side effects of gender inequality on a daily basis.