An Interview with Shagufta K Iqbal, creator of Jam Is For Girls, Girls Get Jam


Shagufta K. Iqbal is a Bristol-based poet who is performing a new work-in-progress at Ferment Fortnight this January. We caught up with her to talk about what she’ll be doing…

Briefly describe (for us) what your show is about?
An exploration of what it means to be a woman in multi-cultured, modern day Britain, and how we communicate the emotions that govern our everyday lives. Could the female body be described as a “territory”? If so, who does it belong to? To the woman herself? Or to society? I use performance poetry to consider the challenges women face to regain ownership of their voice, space and identity. 

Now describe it in 3 words.
Truth, identity & (outright) lies

Is it similar to what you’ve done previously or are you trying something new?
In some ways it is, the key point is very much the same (women and identity) but I have started to use humour (which is always a tricky medium!), and the use of several other characters/ voices to help move the piece forward.

How will it make people feel? / What will it make people think about?
I am not sure, I guess it is something I would like to know from the audience.  I hope some kind of empathy, hopefully empowerment, or a time to reflect on ones own life (without sounding too condescending!)

What stage will it be at in its development when we see it in January?
This is stage two, saying this many of the parts are new and will continue to take shape depending on how audience react/respond to them.  This will hopefully be the start of a cohesive and larger piece that I have in mind, but I need to put it on to paper, practice and stage it.

What elements in particular are you looking forward to testing it out on Ferment audiences?
A little humour to go a long way.  I have always shied away from using humour in my work, but I feel much more comfortable with the characters I am inhabiting and feel I can make a hell of a point with humour as the driving force behind it.

What are your personal highlights of the line-up for January’s Ferment Fortnight?
Man Up, Jonny Fluffypunk!, Baba Yaga
& Just Because I Have a Laundrette in My Thigh Doesn’t Mean I’m Milkshake Wednesday as Byron Vincent is a great artist who does everything perfectly!

Shagufta K. Iqbal will be performing on Fri 1st Feb as part of Ferment Fortnight. Find out more information here.


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