‘Why write?’
by Katy Jalili


Pow! Associate Artist Katy Jalili tells us why writing is an important part of their performance practice and how it has empowered them to get their perspective out into the world.

Why write?

From a young age we’re told our ideas are not important, at least not as important as other people’s. This leads into a creative block that doesn’t allow us to dig deep into what makes our ideas unique and important.

Being able to self-express through writing can massively impact how we interact with our audience and how we communicate our work, but writing doesn’t have to be a traditional way of physically writing down thoughts. We should be thinking about new ways of exploring writing as a technique of recording ideas. For example; voice recording, recording movement, or even recording through material and colours.

For myself in the past few years, writing has become about a way of keeping a record of street harassment and oppressive-based behaviour. Sometimes I’d write on my phone whilst these incidences accrued as a way of self-protection, and it became a way of coping whilst poking fun at the ‘ridiculosity’ of these experiences. It has helped me as a visual artist and performer to discover new ways of valuing my feelings and experiences: communicating them with an audience and starting conversations through performance.

Writing-based practice has taught me that language and writing can be constantly invented, challenged and evolved, especially in the new age of queer and racial expression, it’s an exciting time and we should all have the chance to contribute.’

Katy Jalili (Katayoun Jalilipour) is a genderqueer Iranian born multidisciplinary artist, performer and writer.

Pow! is a chance to explore the creative possibilities of performance and writing your own work with LGBTQ artists, mentoring and support to make new work for a showcase. The deadline is 5pm, Thursday 28 July.