29 March, 2024 - 21:00


Followed by a conversation with Nhã Thuyên, Jay Bernard, Elaine Mitchener & Esi Eshun


Nhã Thuyên was born in Northern Việt Nam and works as a writer and editor in Hà Nội. Her most recent books are bất\ \tuẫn: những hiện diện [tự-] vắng trong thơ Việt and its English edition: un\ \martyred: [self-]vanishing presences in Vietnamese poetry and moon fevers. Her main practices are writing between languages, experimenting with translations and poetic exchanges. She’s been talking to walls and soliloquies some nonsense when having no other emergencies of life to deal with. Her next book of poetry vị nước (taste of water) has been waiting to see the moon. She is currently staying in Berlin as a 2023 DAAD artist-in-Berlin fellow.  


Jay Bernard is a writer, artist, film programmer, and activist from London, UK. Bernard has been a programmer at BFI Flare since 2014, co-editor of Oxford Poetry,  and their fiction, non-fiction, and art has been published in many national and international magazines and newspapers. 


Esi Eshun is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher and writer who works primarily with text, poetry, sound, voice, performance, archives, and still and moving images. Her work frequently centres on the intersection between environmental disturbances, imperial histories and their human and non human consequences, while attempting to redress perceived differences between Western and non-Western knowledge systems. Although grounded in rigorous research, her work experiments with speculative narrative forms, notions of auto-theory and performative approaches to documentary making.    

She has worked in association with practitioners including Brandon LaBelle, The Otolith Group, Elaine Mitchener and June Givanni of the Pan African Film Archive, while also taking part in improvised participative performances alongside Streetwise Opera. Her work has featured at institutions including Tate Britain, Berlin Berlinale, Southbank Centre, Talinn Art Hall, Estonia, Hess Gallery, Canada, Maritime Museum, UK, Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, Radio Space Borealis, Bergen, Norway, and Resonance FM among others. She is currently a lecturer at Central Saint Martins and has written on cinema, art and music for publications including The Wire, Sight & Sound, New Internationalist magazine and Wigmore Hall publishing.   


In:action. Speak up.
Nhã Thuyên
poetry reading, English & Vietnamese spoken

Speak up, a finger of mine touches a phrase in a book, a fresh smell. Why, I ask the page, and to whom, about what, in which way? I have no significant stories to tell and I don’t record sufferings. Mom complains about me not knowing what to do with my mouth. No, entering the roof of the mouth, there is a treasure chest. But it was cursed.

A woman figure speaks to the walls of a room or walls on the streets of a city somewhere, exposing her inner world in the form of never-ending sentences.

Reading in and into a place.
Reading in and into a language.
Reading in and into a body.
Poetry itches. Poetry thinks. Poetry acts. Poetry performs.

To overcome this itchy phase of writing. I can’t escape it. It can not escape me. I must let it continue,


new poems
Jay Bernard
poetry reading, English spoken

New poems written in Paris and London that speak to the title of the event Politics of the Voice.