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Areesha khuwaja is trans disciplinary artist with creative solutions to design problems. She is a Slam Poet & Human Rights Activist.Leonardo da Vinci once quoted “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” For her, art inspires poetry and poetry inspires art. None of them are an end in themselves. Art and poetry are both mediums to think for her too. She don’t only write but perform poetry too. Her work is available on hello poetry
Areesh’s Slam poem called “Try beating me lightly, which is a wide hit.
So we thought we should interview her, as many people from Pakistan appreciated her effort to bring the activism to life through her recent poem, They want to know about her journey, so here is a complete interview we did recently :
Self Projections :What prompted you to begin writing poetry?
Areesha Khuwaja : I’ve always been the creative child who grew up loving music, theater and art. I started performing poetry in school and excelled at it. Then it just kept flowing. Rhymes after rhymes: the young me whining about my sister bag a witch for not letting me wear her clothes (haha) to my grandmother’s death, about my dad falling into the pond to the dark secrets of nature. It was like I couldn’t think straight anymore. I kept weaving metaphors upon metaphors in a continuous rhythm.
Self Projections : How does a poem begin for you, with an idea , a form or an image?
Image mostly. I am a visual artist so I see the metaphors taking forms of images in my mind. My brain is always working hyper actively; observing things, making up surreal images in my mind.
Self Projections :A lot of your work is in strict form. How do you choose the form of your poems?
Areesha Khuwaja :I think my writing style is very versatile. From ghazals to haiku, I’ve been exposed to a lot of poems. I don’t have any strict formula that I follow, infect, I break a lot of poetry rules. Like Nietzsche once quoted: “Poets are shameless with their experiences: they exploit them.” The only one rule that I really follow is this beat that plays in my head while I’m writing and words just flow like a melody. It’s just like playing an instrument: a truly meditative experience.
Self projections :Are there any forms you haven’t tried but would like to?
Areesha Khuwaja: I really like how ghazals revolve around the same words. Another form of poetry that I really like is renga. It’s a collaborative poetry writing style written in a group. I’d really love to try that.
Self Projections :What conditions help you with your writing process?
Areesha Khuwaja : The closer to nature I am, the better it is. I’m a city girl but mostly I don’t feel like I belong here. There’s always too much of everything here and too less of you yourself. It gets exhausting and suffocating too, at times. I’m good with people so everyone imagines I don’t like to be alone but that’s not the truth. I think nature is very poetic. There’s a melody in the way sun rises and sets, syncing the birds, the bees, the flowers with it. You can only truly become the observer and the subject both when you’re alone, you can only feel one with the whole existence when you’re alone. This is why I am absolutely in love with Jamshoro. I call it the city of love and rebellion.
Self Projections : What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your written voice?
Areesha Khuwaja : Performance poetry is this converging line between music, theater and literature which I find absolutely intoxicating; it just gives me this adrenaline rush. The poetry I write to recite only has an impact when performed. While performance poetry, I read each line out aloud – it’s very much like improve theater.
Self Projections :What do you see as the role of humor in poetry?
Areesha Khuwaja :The day when one can joke about the struggles they face, that day one can overcome all the struggles that have been intoxicating their life. Humor is a negotiating mechanism which helps resolve a lot of grievances among different school of thoughts. I think serious poetry that’s funny is more than just a laugh. Satire and irony help us poking holes in our self-righteousness. I think too much seriousness is poisonous. To give you an example of one of my favorite most poets Hafez, wrote in a very subtle ironic lyrical way; particularly in his denunciations of insincerity and false piety.