Born in Nigeria and raised in Longford, Felispeaks is a spoken word artist who is working on a dream to change the face of poetry in Ireland. Celebrating different influences and art forms, she has emerged from the college poetry slam circuit as a fully rounded writer and performer. She draws on personal experiences of love and life and the social concerns of young people to create work that will last long in the memory.
Having received a standing ovation following her performance at the Young Blood event at the NCH in Dublin, Felispeaks was invited to perform at the Repeal The 8th benefit at the Olympia Theatre, This Is Pop Baby’s Riot at Vicar Street, Dublin Fringe’s Requiem For Truth, RTE Arena’s Culture Night concert at Dublin Castle, Body & Soul Festival and Electric Picnic.
In the wake of the abortion referendum, Felis is taking on a new live performance work which explores what it means to still feel bound by our bodies, and poses a simple question ‘Is this the way I should feel?’.
We spoke to Felispeaks about her upcoming show.
What are you looking forward to about Lady Na Master & The Synaptic Room?
I’m looking forward to the level of vulnerability I will experience.
I’m adding new elements to my spoken word performance, it’s exciting, a little scary but I am looking forward to it.
What is liberating about your body?
Learning that it’s sometimes as simple as just paying attention to my body that frees it. Trusting my intuition has also been a liberating experience.
You spoke about your journey with femininity and masculinity, do you think in 2018 Ireland it is easy to explore gender?
Yes, I think once you have people who love you around you, it can ease the fright that sometimes comes with exploring your gender.
What is the biggest misconception about being in a polyamorous relationship?
That it stems from a dissatisfaction with your partner or a place of lack…
That is untrue.
What is the biggest issue for the Afro-Irish LGBT+ community? Do you feel integrated and accepted by the wider LGBT+ community?
Truthfully, I don’t know many from the Afro-Irish LGBT+ community. I’m not really part of any sort of LGBT+ community. Still a pretty new space for me.
Having just repealed the eighth, what do you think is the next fight for freedom in Ireland?
I’d like to think Ireland might rest for a time. Relish in its great victories and adjust. I think the results of the last referendum needs to be actualised before we take up arms again. Ireland has done well, rest.
You are a master of words if you could sum up your show in one sentence what would it be?
Lady Na Master is the theatric version of being trapped in a powerful genjitsu* by a mind and a body exploring sensations, realities and the experiences of physical and emotional binding and the journey of freedom.
Your poetry reflects on the oppression of minorities particularly women, is it hard to lean into the vulnerability of this?
Strangely, it’s been easy to be vulnerable about womanhood, I’m not the only woman I know. I’m surrounded by reassuring conversations because I’m only penning down what is real.
Lady Na Master & The Synaptic Room will be on in Smock Alley Theatre from June 13th – 16th.
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