Khadijah Ibrahiim

My White Best Friend - North: Khadijah Ibrahiim
Khadijah's letter will be performed at Left Bank on Tues 9 Nov. Book tickets.

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"When I was invited to contribute to the MWBF commission, I knew it would exercise and challenge [white] fragility - since it isn’t an easy topic to approach. The creative process is culturally sensitive, thought provoking - at times [triggering] uncomfortable silence - to map out memories contained in the body. I thought of conversations I’ve not had - to safeguard my wellbeing from micro -aggression or the full-on backlash that often follows. But here is a space to create [or rant on a page] a space to write out of the consciousness [filled with poems, emotion and intention] to say what Black artists often withhold."

Khadijah Ibrahiim was born in Leeds of Jamaican parentage. Educated at the University of Leeds, she is theatre maker and published writer, who combines interdisciplinary art forms to re-imagine poetry as performance theatre. Hailed as one of Yorkshire’s most prolific poets by the BBC, her work appears in university journals and poetry anthologies. Her collection Another Crossing was published by Peepal Tree Press 2014. She’s toured America, Caribbean, Africa and Asia. In 2010, she was writer in residence at El Gouna, Egypt, and the British Council, South Africa. Shortlisted for Jerwood Compton poetry Fellowship, 2017, 2019. Shortlisted for the ‘Sue Ryder Yorkshire Woman of the Year’ contribution to the arts.

Khadijah is the artistic director of Leeds Young Authors, the executive producer of the award-winning documentary We Are Poets. She was appointed creative associate in 2017 for the theatre production Ode to Leeds at Leeds Playhouse. She is the writer in residence at Leeds Art Gallery 2021.

Her recent work includes: Dead and Wake, Opera North 2020; Resonance and Connecting Voices, Leeds Playhouse with DJ NikNak; The Promise of a Garden associate director with the Performance Ensemble; Sorrel & Black Cake writer and director with the Geraldine Connor Foundation. Symphonic Dancers, Writer and poet for Phoenix Dance, and the recipient of Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice funding 2019.

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