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Feminist Spoken Word Night to showcase student talent outside the classroom

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Thursday will be a night devoted to women’s — and human — issues.

Triota, the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies’ Honor Society, will be hosting Feminist Spoken Word Night at Kafe Kerouac on High Street

Kate Conroy, a third-year in women’s, gender and sexuality studies and psychology, said the event organizers wanted to have Triota members, students outside the Honor Society and community members come together to discuss feminism through their art.

There are two featured artists from Triota, Hayley Esterline and Sabs Jamal-Eddine, who will read original poems. There will also be an open mic portion for attendees to share their work as well.

Conroy said she wanted to specify that for this event, feminism is defined as “justice for all people regardless of gender, race, sexuality, class or any other social classifications.”

In addition, she said she wanted to showcase student talent not seen in their academics, while focusing on issues that many people face due to gender, sexuality and race. Students and community members outside Ohio State are encouraged to take part in the open mic portion of the evening.

“Everyone is welcome,” Conroy said.

Lisanne Ball, a third-year in psychology and women’s gender and sexuality studies, is set to MC the event. Ball said her involvement in the LGBT-inclusive sorority GRL has warmed her up to attempting jokes as an MC. As an officer of recruitment, she said she regularly speaks to and entertains large crowds. She said she is excited to hear from a variety of perspectives during the open mic portion.

Jamal-Eddine, second-year in women’s gender and sexuality studies and nursing, said her Lebanese heritage is a defining factor of her poetry.

She is set to perform a poem criticizing misogyny, along with many others, in front of her peers.

“My inspiration would be my passion for human rights and deconstructing oppression through education, advocacy, and activism with art serving as my main catalyst,” Jamal-Eddine said.

She said now, with the new presidential administration, is a particularly important time for expression and challenged people to create art.  

“Society raises us with this misconception that we are either ‘good’ at art or ‘bad’ at art,” Jamal-Eddine said. “As if art is some kind of solid test upon which we are graded, a class in which we can pass or fail. There is no such thing as a person who is ‘bad at art,’ only a person who has given up on their quest of expression of the self.”

Esterline, a fourth-year in women’s gender and sexuality studies and psychology, said it has been a dream of hers to be a featured performer, so this event is a “landmark” in her life. She said poetry brings together people from different political backgrounds.  

“We feel so divided by politics right now, I have so much trouble understanding and communicating with people who don’t align with my politics,” Esterline said. “But poetry makes people shut up and listen for a moment, which is absolutely what we need.”  

She also said people need the chance to tell their stories, uninterrupted.

“It’s a safe space to say, ‘This is who I am and this is what I know in my heart,’” Esterline said. “To have that validated by a room full of people is incredibly powerful. I think poetry makes you a better person.”

Feminist Spoken Word Night will be at Kafe Kerouac on Thursday from 8 to 11pm.

One comment

  1. Victoria Wegman

    Note from the reporter: the correct spelling for the featured artist is Hayley Esterline, typo above

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