Words & Strings began in 2014 as a group of five young people who were passionate about art and eager to show off Doha’s poetic talent.
“We felt the need to create an open space for poets and spoken word artists,” Arwa Elsanosi, one of the founding members and the event co-ordinator, tells us. “[There was a] gap between the existence of poetic talent in Qatar and the lack of a consistent platform to share it.”
Their first event that September was a huge success. There were 20 performances and a huge 200 people in the audience, and ever since the group has gone from strength to strength. “Our events are getting bigger and our talent is getting better,” Elsanosi says. “Our performers become stronger and more confident at every event.”
Words & Strings events are an open art platform, so anyone, of any nationality and any age, can perform in any language. The idea is to encourage people to share their art however they feel comfortable. The events promise a welcoming atmosphere, and it means no two are ever the same. Each has different speakers and its own unique vibe.
It’s an inspiring evening, whether or not you choose to perform. “We work hard to make events unforgettable for everyone,” says Elsanosi. “The most memorable moment for me was our one year anniversary event in March. We had the most diverse performances in terms of age, topics and nationalities; a turnout that really represented how much we are growing and how Words & Strings is really becoming a miniature of how metropolitan Qatar is.”
Though difficulties with finding venues has meant that, so far, events haven’t been running consistently, Elsanosi says that should be changing soon, and plans are in place for writing workshops to be held in the future. Their goal is simply to cultivate a love of creating writing and build a better platform for all nationalities.
She adds, “and Words & Strings is more than just an event. It’s a family. It’s a space for inspiration and learning, and about being part of a community.
“The talent exists,” Elsanosi says, “but poetry is still a niche interest. [We want to] drop a spotlight on the local spoken and literary art scene.”
Events are free, but pre-registration is required. For more information about Words & Strings, updates about future events and to sign up to perform, visit www.wordsandstrings.xyz.