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Wondrous Wednesday – the power of words

2nd February 2022

It’s another Wondrous Wednesday; our blog dedicated to Wondrous Stories! Conceived and directed by our Artistic Director Kevin Finnan, this extraordinary large-scale production will be the opening show of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

This week, we are featuring one of our spoken word artists for Wondrous Stories, Raza Hussain, who alongside Sebbie Mudhai, will be performing their spoken word creations in the show.

We interviewed Raza about what he’s been working on so far. Watch the video below to find out what he had to say about the show!

Raza has also written a short blog about the power of words and the significance of this moment in time for Birmingham.

Read his thoughts in the lead up to his performance in Wondrous Stories in his blog below!

Raza's Blog

It’s incredible how words can cast a spellbinding effect. There’s a warmth in being welcomed, a satisfaction in presenting peace and a growing understanding of everything in between. It was interesting how much I learned about words by being silent. How emotional nights were often followed by silent sunrises and heavy conversations were pursued by a longing for contentment. I remember playing ‘Grenade’ by Bruno Mars over 200 times over the space of a month. I have to be honest, spending more than 11 hours of my life listening to this one song– looking back, I put myself through a whole lot of intense feeling just to ask myself: what do I actually want to feel.

As humans we are always evolving, so cannot be bound to a set definition. Our individualism is sown in our DNA and our character is a product of life in progression. However, seldom does the tree nourish itself from its own fruits. How I want to make others feel reflects how I want to feel. If kindness and mercy is what I’m looking for within me then these are the things I need to express in my actions and so essentially, in my words. Words are the most tangible extensions of feelings. They are energies that are expressed outwardly, but are felt internally behind physical barriers, beyond walls, beyond skin and bones.

The past few years, with Covid, with the loss of loved ones and a reintroduction to a new normal, have been phase shifting times. The world has been allowed to be quiet for a moment (maybe a moment too long). People have been enabled to observe their surroundings and acknowledge what they have created around themselves. When all the vices we have are taken away from us, we truly listen to ourselves. I can only speak for what I see and feel in me and around me – Birmingham. This bubbling pot of potential that has embodied itself in every citizen of the city. It feels as though Birmingham will finally have a vessel to express its truer selves through The Commonwealth Games [and the Birmingham 2022 Festival]. It will be able to express its music, its poetry, its passion, its welcoming aura, all the while bringing to life the stories that make Birmingham a home for every traveller.

It would be naïve of me to think the Commonwealth Games are not a product of the dreams of success the people want to manifest for themselves. The games are an opportunity to prove to the world that we are an incredible city and every being within it is a force to be reckoned with. Naturally, all we really want is that opportunity to show that we are what we believe we are – incredible.

Every morning I aim to start the day with faith in my first words spoken: Today is going to be an incredible day. I’ve already chosen to mention it as something that will pass, acknowledging everything is meaningful and meaningfully fleeting. I’ve already chosen to perceive what is going to pass as incredible, in it’s state of entrance and exit. The rest is down to faith.

Incredible. Deep down I guess that’s what we all want to feel.

If you are feeling inspired by Raza’s words, tell us your story! Watch our Rehearsal Director Junior in the video below to find out how you can share your story!

Don’t miss the chance to hear Raza and Sebbie’s specially created performances in Wondrous Stories! The show will be performed in Centenary Square, Birmingham with FREE performances every evening from March 17 – 20 2022.

For more Wondrous Stories behind-the-scenes action and exclusive interviewscheck out our Wondrous Wednesdays blog series.

Make sure you follow us on social media to be the first to get the latest updates from the Wondrous Stories creation process.

  • Date Venue & Tickets

Presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival; Wondrous Stories is created by Motionhouse and produced by Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces (OPUS). 

Generously supported by Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.