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Deji joined us here at Contact this week for Work Experience. In his Arts Award presentation, he reflected on attending a Young Identity workshop. We liked it so much we wanted to share it with you!

Hello, my name is Deji Hayes, and today I’m going to talk about Young Identity, some of you may know it.

It’s a poetry group for young people, based at Contact. It’s pretty open, you just walk in pick up a pen, sign a contract. Then for two hours, you sit with others, minds alike, as all those subconscious voices put their lips to a mic, and like birds they sing, and their ink start to flow, as words, syllables, symphonies grow. From the paper, cities, with spires and skyscrapers, and double meanings, that mean far more than these papers.

If only you could see them, as so few can. Then you too could realise what can be sculpted by young hands, and see the flames from young mouths, spitting fire from their belly, who don’t shy from the mud, but the ones who make it messy.

So to those who mock the voices of the young, you look weak, don’t you try to put me down, and ask me who am I to speak? I am me! And I will never be diminished. You can’t beat us, so join us, cos we’re never going to finish.

I’m sorry, I got worked up, but those were just my suggestions, I’ve pretty much finished now so, any questions?