Throughout the festival participants were treated to music, poetry, drama and opera performances from a wide selection of local artists. Please see below for a selection of photos and biographies of our performers.
Hodan Yusuf is a poet, writer, multimedia freelance journalist and photographer. She is also a mediator and trainer in conflict resolution.
Hodan has spoken at and read her poetry at many events and venues including ICHR, York University, Muslim Institute, BareLit Festival, in Parliament for International Women’s Day 2018, at the British Library for the inaugural MFest, Amnesty International and many spoken word nights. She is an essayist in the upcoming anthology by Unbound Publishers called “Cut From the Same Cloth”. Hodan is currently working on her debut collection of poetry.
A.N.G has dived back into the music scene after taking a long break to focus on studying and work. Her passion for making music and performing never left her as she stepped back initially into the radio scene 2 years, ago hosting a weekly 2 hour live hip hop and grime show on IO Radio. Her passion for supporting local music began to increase and after seeing a gap in the hip hop scene with no female rappers, she got straight back, first by accident and then with a driving force to help push music for female artists in Suffolk.
Her influences come from Lauryn Hill, Akala and Little Simz to name a few. Her punchy rap flows and deep but catchy lyrics will have you enjoying music made for universal ears. With news quickly spreading about her stage presence, A.N.G has performed all over the country this summer at festivals, gigs and as an artist feature with local band Impilo.
With her passion for female empowerment, dissecting lyrics for all audiences to understand as spoken word and with the importance of being a positive musical influence for young people, A.N.G is now here to hopefully stay and spreading her voice throughout Suffolk and beyond. Her radio show continues to increase in popularity and she will now join the BBC radio Suffolk team on Wednesdays at 7pm to host the new 2 hour BBC music introducing… Suffolk show with Richard Haugh.
Martha Loader is a playwright, actor and producer and co-artistic director of tusk. She is a graduate of the HighTide Writers Group and the Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab, where she is still part of their alumni group.
Martha has written Footsteps, and A Sort of Revolution for the Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes festival and is a committed feminist.
Most recently, tusk. performed an extract of Martha’s play ‘Reliance’ at Pulse Festival as part of their Suitcase Prize. Her play ‘Humbug’ was performed at this year’s INK Festival, which also featured plays by Richard Curtis, Esther Freud and Blake Morrison. Previous work has been shown at HighTide Festival, Norwich Arts Centre, and The Owl and Cat Theatre, Melbourne.
Martha has performed as an actor at HighTide Festival, INK Festival, The New Wolsey Theatre,The Owl and Cat Theatre, Melbourne, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and for BBC Radio 4.
Rebecca Abbott is a director and Creative Producer of theatre and live events, and co-artistic director of tusk. She graduated from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2012.
Rebecca directed ‘Reliance’ at Pulse Festival at the New Wolsey Theatre, ‘Constellations’ at the New Wolsey Studio, and will direct ‘A Sort of Revolution’ at the Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes festival in Ipswich in the Autumn which will mark the centenary of the first women to get the vote.
Rebecca has worked in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre, Roundhouse,London Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Camden Fringe Festival, Tate Modern and Royal Opera House.
Gill Lowe, author
Gill Lowe is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Suffolk. She specialises in autobiography, late nineteenth and early twentieth century literature. Whilst studying at UEA for her MA in Life-writing Gill wrote about Virginia Woolf’s mother; her work was published by Cecil Woolf as Versions of Julia.
Gill has post-graduate qualifications in Education and in Drama-in-Education. She has taught English and Drama in high schools and Humanities to adults returning to Higher Education. She has developed partnerships with voluntary groups and arts organisations in the local community.
She has worked with international scholars to write and edit a collection of critical and theoretical essays about Woolf: Virginia Woolf: Twenty-First-Century Approaches, is published by Edinburgh University Press. Her current publishing project also relates to the study of Virginia Woolf’s works.
Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, Composer & Performer, 1000 Songs
Cevanne is a composer, singer and harper who works across art forms, for both acoustic and electronic settings. Anglo-Armenian, and born in Suffolk, she grounds her work in the British isles, digging into their rich soil to find artefacts which we would not always imagine to be native. Cevanne was recently the composer-in-residence with the London Symphony Orchestra at the National Trust property 575 Wandsworth Road (2015 – 2017), and, before that, at Handel & Hendrix in London (2012 – 2014). She was a double-nominee for the last British Composer Awards, and won with ‘Muted Lines’, dedicated to all refugees, and written for Trish Clowes & the Emulsion Sinfonietta.
Ziazan, Librettist & Performer, 1000 Songs
Ziazan is a conservatoire-trained musician. She has performed at the Royal Albert Hall in the BBC Proms, Royal Festival Hall, Cardiff Millennium Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the Fields, Barbican, Handel House and Latitude Festival. Aside from her work in opera both on stage and in the pit, Ziazan has written stage plays, tales in verse for performance, short stories, and a children’s opera. She performs as a storyteller across the UK, and has twice had the opportunity to share the stage with the first Storyteller Laureate, Taffy Thomas, MBE.
Girls Where you At?
A group of young women aged 13-20 studying media skills with Future Female Society. Learning radio and music studio production, video production, event and performance space management.
Meeting new people, getting skilled and having fun.
Original Born Word Goddess (Imani Sorhaindo)
Imani Sorhaindo has been working as a community activist for over 25 years in the voluntary sector. She also works full time as a curriculum manager for adult education. A spoken word artist and writer for 30 years, writing about her love for humankind, and sisterhood. She has had two anthologies of poetry published, co-author of an educational resource for schools called African queens through history, as well as two children’s books teaching childrens history and culture about the beautiful island of Dominica where she was born.
More recently her personal work has taken her into the realm of health, healing and wellness. She runs fibroid support groups for women’s, lectures across the UK on topics such as mindfulness, eliminating fibroids through holistic practice, the art of breathing and energy balancing through Qi gong.
She enjoys meeting and working with people, natural therapies, meditating and reading.
The Ipswich Reggae Choir
A non professional group of women who like to sing reggae. Founded in 2017.
A local soul funk singer and lead singer of Motherfunker, a Suffolk based funk band reviving classic, oldskool funk and disco music. Vania performs locally and abroad. And regularly competes in singing competitions, including reaching the final of an international competition against 40 countries. Vania’s influences are Etta James, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce.