Killing T.I.N.A, Embracing T.A.B.O.O – The Writings on the Walls #6

14 Nov 2009 jane

Dorothea Smartt, one of the two commissioned poets from African Writers Abroad, today releases a beautiful, inspiring poem created out of the 7th November creative writing workshop: Killing T.I.N.A, Embracing T.A.B.O.O (see below).

The ink is still wet but Dorothea’s willingness to share this piece is testament to the amazing Creativity, Connections & Co-creations that are springing up with the C Words project.

The Word Sound Power generated over the weekend of the 7th November was truly invigorating. The musical-visual-poetic-sound-clash-discussion of Virtual Migrant’s ‘Passenger 6’ together with Dorothea’s poetry workshop (Full Circle), all feeding into the evening event, ‘No Condition Is Permanent’ with participants from the writing workshops blessing the mic alongside the featured poets/ writers together with welcome musical contributions and collaborations on guitar, kora and calimba.

Further poems, video, images and footage from this weekend (together with the well-attended Sunday discussion on the Future of the Niger Delta) will be made available soon. The 6th poem to be released by African Writers Abroad is below:

Killing T.I.N.A, Embracing T.A.B.O.O*
(for Sai MuRai)

There are billions of options! That we don’t listen to!
Never get to hear, never see, never make it past:
the cynical fascism of Daily Mail headlines;

out the mouth of the CNN correspondent
propped up, in a hotel bar, miles away.
from the action. We never hear it, feel it, get to

experience it – Imagine, a dreamer, a fabricator,
a storyteller, magic-maker, a fablesinger. Telling it
like it could be, like it isn’t, like it maybe! Imagine.

What if, possibly, there are billions of options
that languish taboo’d. Never make it past the tip
of the tongue, never see the light of new days,

evolve past and up into a eureka moment.
They sit, these billions, mired in despair and apathy.
No body cares to know – been there, done it,

what’s the point! There are no alternatives.
Just the way we are, the way we’ve always been.
One story. Chimamanda cautions us: Go beyond

one story. Experience the richness, the multiplicity of
voices and perspectives. You might just break-through,
a taboo, you might just break TINA

out of her tiny mind,
out of our tiny minds,
and see possibilities.

*With thanks to:
Margaret Thatcher for T.I.N.A – “There is no alternative”, and Sai MuRai for T.A.B.O.O – “There are billions of options”.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for “The Danger of a Single Story”, Oct 2009, TEDTalks video,

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