‘Where I’m Coming From’ is a community collective that platforms black and non-black writers of colour in Wales. Formed in 2017 by writers Durre Shahwar and Hanan Issa, the popular monthly open mic events are intended to be a safe space where local creatives can share their thoughts, ideas, views through the medium of the spoken word, be it poetry, prose, or something more unconventional. The aim is to challenge, explore, de-construct or even parody any topic with respect and open-mindedness. As the first POC-led writers collective in Wales, their aim is to remove barriers, nurture talent, and bridge the gap between local communities, writers, artists, and established organisations through events, mentoring, workshops, creative conversations, talks, and other professional developmental opportunities.
Dami Okhiria is currently a medical student at the University of Sheffield, writing and performing spoken word poetry whenever possible. She is the co-founder and former host of the monthly open mic night ‘All Mic Long’ in Sheffield. She is a Say Owt slam champion, Slam of The North 2019 winner, and first runner up of UniSlam 2020. She is also a member of the feminist arts collective – Verse Matters.
You can find her here: https://www.facebook.com/DamiPoetry/
Since graduating from Trinity Saint David as an Actor, Connor has worked with many companies in Wales and beyond. He is a member of National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and was also the winner of Triforces Cardiff MonologueSlam. As a writer Connor has written for many companies such as Dirty Protest, National Theatre Wales and BBC Wales. Connor wrote Dom’s Drug Prayer for Sherman Theatre’s TEN / DEG series. He’s had an ACW funded debut play and two Literature Wales commissions including his interdisciplinary remix – 27. He’s also part of the BBC Wales Welsh Voices 19/20 and The Welsh Royal Court Writers Group.
Ansa Memon is a Welsh writer and student of Creative Writing in Aberystwyth University. She enjoys portraying a visual image of the clash of opinions that she sees in the world, within her written work; and prefers to focus mainly on the topics of culture and gender. As well as this, Ansa is focussed on her vision of encouraging other WOC to achieve their goals, by talking about her journey to higher education on her YouTube channel.
Born of Jamaican heritage, Selena is a queer, autistic writer based in Cardiff. Preferring the stage to the page, you wouldn’t be surprised to find their puissant poetry accentuated with ungoddessly scenes of fake menstrual blood and expressive vocals over a backdrop of low–fi beats. Otherwise known for being an internationally recognised speaker in topics such as race and disability inclusion, Selena is the social entrepreneur behind Aubergine Cafe in the Riverside area of Cardiff, a plant based community cafe owned and run by autistic people, hosting events such as an online arts programme, and Queer Writers Cardiff. Aubergine also facilitates meetings for transgender peer support and trans rights campaigns.