Housing

Kate Tempest enlists army of homeless poets for Brighton Festival

The Storytelling Army is a dynamic collective of people from all walks of life, who will perform in unexpected locations during the Kate Tempest-curated Brighton Festival

Novelist, poet and spoken-word artist Kate Tempest is working with homeless and vulnerably housed people on a unique storytelling project.

Tempest, guest director of the 2017 Brighton Festival, is mobilising a “storytelling army” from all corners of the city, including those who have been sleeping rough and have struggled to find a settled home. She has promised pop-up performances across Brighton from May 26 through May 28 at which people will share life experiences and personal tales.

“The arts should be social, not elitist,” said Tempest. “They should be part of our everyday life. They should be in our communities, not only on elevated platforms or behind red velvet ropes.

“Music, literature, theatre, film – these things are so important, they bring us together into the same space, they give us ourselves, they bring us to life, they beam our humanity back to us in all its hideous beauty.

“And in these times, with the fear spreading everywhere and the divisions between us deepening daily, we desperately need to remember that we are all part of the same thing.

“Nothing does that for me more profoundly or joyously than standing in the crowd watching a gig, or a play, or a painting. It’s like a little victory you get to keep forever. I want us to offer that experience to everyone.”

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