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The Body Utters Itself: Spoken Word, Agency and Identity

Saturday, March 2, 2019
Opening Hours: 
RAW Labs, Norton Quays, Royal Albert Wharf, London, E16 2QJ

“The body and the voice are one and the same - a thought, a word, an action. An instinct in the chest, a turn of the stomach; a touch. 

Marginalised voices are continually censored and silenced. Dominant powers teach us to make assumptions about an individual’s culture, upbringing and class, based solely on the way on which they speak and move. We are taught to judge the voice before we see the body, and the body before we hear the voice. We are taught to police the ways in which we present ourselves to the world. 

Yet, the voice holds specific and undeniable powers of self-determination. To voice desire is to reclaim it, to give it flesh, just as to speak queerness aloud is to lend complex, often ambiguous feelings edges, sharpness, depth. A pulse. 

And whilst white supremacy may seek to bury the voices and agencies of people of colour, to systematically equate race with corporeality with passivity, the voice is not something that can simply be silenced. The body may utter itself into being.” 

- Lizzie Masterton 

Bodies are categorised and identities assumed, however the voice and body maintain undeniable powers of self-determination. For Newham Word Festival, join Sonic Gaze, a project that explores power dynamics and sound, at RAW Labs for an evening that brings together performers, writers and poets who use spoken word and movement to explore agency, identity and politics.  

Please arrive ten minutes before the event is due to start. 

For a look at the full programme of events and workshops, visit

Exhibting artists: Sabrina Mumtaz Hasan, Katayoun Jalili, Adam Moore, Olivia Klevorn, Esme Lewis-Gartside

Access Information

RAW Labs has step-free access from the street to the ground level of the building, including to the accessible toilet, and is service animal friendly. There is no step-free access to the mezzanine level. This venue does not have a hearing loop system.

There is permit parking directly outside RAW Labs, but please call ahead to request a permit.

If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this venue or event, would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance of visiting, or would like this information in an alternate format including Easy Read, please email or call 07806 733 914

Travel Information

Nearest station(s): Gallions Reach DLR
Bus: 101, 262, 366, 474, N551
Parking: No parking available

Get directions with Citymapper

Image of Katy Jalili © photographer Holly Revell