Blank Space: The Dubai Poetry Community

Art comes in many forms. The art community is quite diverse in nature, whether it includes painters, musicians, poets, and more. The art community has always been such a special one, enriched with the creativity and passion of its individuals. The poetry community is no less than that in any way.

Poetry is a form of expression through the art of words. In the same way, a painter may use a specific color scheme to showcase a specific emotion or theme, a poet will use specific words and metaphors to express their feelings and to send their message across.

Poetry has a very long history, as it has been around for centuries, used in many different cultures. Poetry has been used to express love, longing, friendship, war, sadness, despair, and many countless other emotions and themes. As a form of literature, it may use certain rhyming schemes and certain literary tools, or it could just consist of free verses.

Spoken Word Poetry

A very special aspect of poetry is spoken word poetry. Spoken word poetry is very broad in nature but its core aspect is that it is intended for performance. Spoken word poetry can be used for political and social purposes as a means of protest, for example. Overall, it encompasses itself around issues related to the community. It may be characterized by “rhyme, repetition, improvisation, and wordplay.”

Spoken word poetry is meant to instill feelings into the audience not just through words, but also through voice, tone, and overall body language. A large aspect of spoken word poetry is the aesthetic of the performance. A simple-worded poem may become extremely powerful just through the performance.

All around the world, there are slam poetry competitions, open mics, and other literary events celebrating poetry and some of the most talented poets in the world. The poetry community is constantly on the rise, able to spread their messages across through poetry events or even by spreading their poetry on social media.

Blank Space

Blank Space was founded by Mathani Mohamed and Mohamed Abdel Hakam in August of 2015. It is one of the most thriving poetry communities present in the United Arab Emirates, based in Dubai. Founded by two young passionate individuals, Blank Space has sought to spread the same level of inspiration as the founders to all of its family members.

Mathani and Mohamed met at poetry events in the United Arab Emirates all the time, more specifically ones hosted by Rooftop Rhythms, which is based in Abu Dhabi. Both Mathani and Mohamed were constantly in awe of the love and energy within the poetry community at these events. As time passed, Mathani got into writing poetry herself and Blank Space was eventually born out of passion.

“I feel some kind of duty towards poetry and performance arts. If I do not do this out of love, then I feel like I would not have done what I am supposed to do 100%,” says Mohamed. Blank Space offers inspiration to all those who engage in the performance arts, even beyond just poetry. Blank Space hosts anyone who has a passion for other forms of arts, like music.

To the founders, Blank Space is not just about hosting events. “Blank Space is more than poetry and has everything to do with the energy, the connection, and the family we have built,” says Mathani. “It makes me feel inspired,” says Mohamed. This kind of passion and inspiration is what has fueled Blank Space to grow the way that it has over the years, to hosting events once a month, and forming a large community of individuals who meet for the same purpose.

“Blank Space means everything to me.” Mathani and Mohamed have watched Blank Space grow from a small baby to an eagle set out to fly. They hope to continue to bring inspiration and passion to members of the performance arts.

The poetry community is one that supports and relates to one another, brought together for one purpose, to speak about things they know very well at heart. The beautiful thing about poetry, more specifically spoken word poetry, is the fact that you can relate to and feel something even if you have not necessarily experienced it yourself. “We welcome each other because of the common ground we share. We belong to one another,” says Mathani.

Mathani and Mohamed hope to see Blank Space as a community that never loses its essence or its vibes. They hope to see it continuously grow and obtain new family members each time and with each event. “I want to see it international and soaring one day,” says Mathani.

Communities like Blank Space are what help people feel inspired all the time. Whether you are attending to perform or to just sit and listen, Blank Space events are definitely the place you want to be at, witnessing the amazing talent of so many individuals just hoping to get to one person each time, with each performance.


Omaya Michelle

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