Embodying Rest: the art of radical care

Photo credit: Takyiwa Danso
Dear Friends!
At Healing Solidarity, we recognise that dedicated spaces for People of Colour can provide the opportunity for healing, support, mirroring and affirmation, and this must happen away from the white gaze. As such, we have a dedicated spaces within our Healing Solidarity Collective called Bearings: People of Colour Collective, which only People of Colour are able to join.
We include within people of colour ; Black, Indigenous, and all those identifying as a person of colour. We know that people of colour are not a homogeneous group but also recognise the value of spaces dedicated to those for who have been oppressed by the burden of racism and the ways in which that is manifest in our organisations. 
In Bearings: People of Colour Collective, we have drop-in sessions for 1 (one) hour every month meant for intentional sharing, emotional checking-in, centering kindness, joy, understanding and vulnerability.
In line with our commitment to usher in political courage, cultural humility and an ethic of care and community within international aid and philanthropy that centers  BIPOC folks, we are excited to offer a BIPOC only Spoken Word Poetry and Collaging Course titled 'Embodying rest: the art of radical care'
The Spoken Word Poetry and Collaging Course  is a collaboration between Nikita Shah and Takyiwa Danso and has been curated with play, intention, creativity, rest and care in mind. 
Nikita and Takyiwa have curated the course in such a way that it is interwoven reminding us of the ways in which we are all connected in our joys and struggles as BIPOC people.
As in our shared and also diverse lineages and ancestry where creativity has been at the centerstage of our liberation, celebration and rest- through the Spoken Word Poetry and Collaging Course we are tapping into that inherent individual and collective wisdom.

We encourage you to take up the course as a whole in order to enjoy the ways in which poetry and collaging relationship with each other as well as the wisdom that lay in the mutuality of our experiences. However, there is also an optionality to choose one course.

If you are white and feel uncomfortable in any way about not being able to access these spaces, we invite you to consider that this discomfort is nothing compared to the burden of experiencing racism for people of colour. The privilege of access to any space we choose is very often a benefit of whiteness and of white supremacy culture, a global system of injustice that always privileges whiteness. We know that many of us who are raced as white experience other forms of oppression, but privilege in relation to the colour of our skin is always afforded to us. 


As members of the BIPOC community, it can often feel like the fight for social change is constant. Everyday pressures and global challenges bring chaos, uncertainty and sometimes feelings difficult to put into words. This course will introduce the concept of collaging as a reflective practice. Over the next few weeks, we will explore the meaning of ‘rest’, why such a simple concept can be difficult to achieve, and how we can take a ‘pause’ by going back to basics and making fun, abstract art. Collaging is a creative and inclusive practice that enables us to deconstruct traditional ways of communicating and thinking, and instead create rich, diverse and layered pieces of visual art to express our thoughts, emotions, and visions. These sessions offer an alternative way for us to reflect on complex issues affecting us as individuals and as a community, in a meaningful, unique and visually pleasing way. By the end of the course, we hope to have gained a new perspective of our experiences of stress/burnout, and focus towards making our vision of rest and wellbeing a reality. 




Takyiwa Danso started Power in Pieces in 2020 as a way to express her experiences as a Black woman working in the global development sector through the medium of collage. Motivated by a want to challenge unjust systems, she strives to centre the voices of marginalised groups in decision-making spaces to ensure meaningful inclusion. With eight years’ experience in youth, education and disability programme delivery and advocacy, she is currently Policy Officer for Inclusive Education at Sightsavers. Takyiwa holds an MA in International Development from the Institute of Development Studies and a BA (Hons) in International Development from the University of East Anglia. Through collaging, Takyiwa hopes to inspire reflection and create opportunity for difficult conversations that lead to positive change. 
Photo credit: Takyiwa Danso


Date: 30th May 2022

Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm UK Time

We begin by introducing collaging as a creative and reflective practice. Participants will explore the chaos/stress points in their lives and start to communicate that through images and the act of collaging.
  • Materials to cut up e.g newspapers, magazines, paper, fabrics etc.
  • Bring scissors, glue, tape, paper, pens 
  • Small journal/notebook for reflections over period of course 
  • We encourage you to keep a box for materials/ideas 
Photo credit: Takyiwa Danso


Date: 13th June 2022

Time: 6 - 7:30 pm UK Time

We will reflect on images and work towards creating visual haikus in small groups. 
Drawing from the first poetry session on ‘uncovering rest’, participants start to use their writing/journaling to draw out themes on what they want to visualise which will set guidance them towards creating the final collage piece. 
  • Participants should bring materials to cut up, scissors, glue, tape, paper, pens etc. 
  • Bring a set of 3 images that invokes positive emotions/ calmness
  • Journal/notebook
Photo credit: Takyiwa Danso


Date: 27th June 2022

Time: 6 - 7 pm UK Time

This group collage session will allow participants to carve out space to work on their final collage piece.
Either as a drop-in or stay for the whole session, participants can ask questions, seek advice from myself/cohort and use the time to focus on themselves. 
  • Participants should bring their working collage, along with materials to cut up e.g. newspapers, magazines, paper, fabrics, scissors, glue, tape, paper, pens etc. 
  • Journal/notebook


The fight for social justice and equity is a marathon, not a sprint. Centring rest is an act of resistance. Creativity helps to build resilience. As members of the BIPOC community continuing our activism whilst juggling different elements of work, life, play, and more,  it is easy for rest to fall to the bottom of our ever-growing list of priorities. This course offers a creative space for participants to use spoken word poetry to understand the importance of rest and what it means to you specifically. Throughout the course, participants will be taught how to write, edit and perform a spoken word poetry piece on embodying rest. We will also incorporate movement to encourage creative thinking and to incorporate play and joy. By the end of the course, we hope to make a personal commitment to embodying an act of rest and care personal to each individual and to step forward with a new perspective of our experiences related to stress, ‘hustle-mode’ and burnout moving towards rest and resilience. This course offers a collective brave space for the BIPOC community to heal as a collective using creativity.




Nikita Yasmin Shah is the founder of Hyphen Poetry where she uses spoken word poetry as a
medium for self-reflection, creative expression, performance and research to explore anti-racism
approaches, decoloniality and transformational change. Nikita has designed and facilitated a number
of workshops about identity, belonging, migrant journeys, rest and resilience, collective care,
decolonising aid and more. Nikita holds an MA in Global Governance from University of Waterloo,
Balsillie School of International Affairs and a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Warwick
where she Co-founded The Colonial Hangover Project. Nikita is pushing for us to reconsider the role of care and rest in our activism and everyday life
and to view rest as both resistance and resilience.
Photo credit: Peng Louis


Date: 25th May 2022

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm UK Time

By uncovering the idea behind individual and collective care we will understand the peaks and troughs of campaigns/activism/movements and recognise the need for building in deliberate moments of rest/support/care.
The participants will be introduced to the 6 steps of writing poetry.
Photo credit: S Migaj



Date: 8th June 2022

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm UK Time

Participants will be invited to experience movement before beginning to write their poetry.
We will warm up to music to get our bodies moving and through small creative prompts we will create our own freestyle movement.
We will thereafter begin writing our poems. 
Photo credit: Suzy Hazelwood


Date: 22nd June 2022

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm UK Time

Participants will be paired up and asked to give feedback on each other’s poetry. I will also be available to support individuals with editing their poetry.
Participants will also be taught how to perform their poems.
  • Bring completed homework and bring pens and paper


In this joint final session, all the participants will be invited to share their poetry and collages with each other. After each performance and showcase we will hold a space for reflection. At the end we will close with each person stating a commitment that feels right to them about incorporating rest into their lives. 

Date: 6th July 2022

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm UK Time

Recordings of the sessions will be available

Photo by Shiva Smyth: https://www.pexels.com/photo/closeup-photography-of-stacked-stones-1051449/

Reciprocity and more equitable distribution of resources is important to us. With your financial contribution, we are able to justly pay the facilitators for their knowledge and labour.

We have put together a sliding scaled pricing model based on the model developed by Worts and Cunning and well-worded by Jo Tucker.

Sliding Scale Workshop Fee :

Full course (Spoken word poetry & collaging course)

  • Redistribution: £150
  • Real Cost:: £90
  • Solidarity price::£30

One course (Either Spoken word poetry or collaging course)

  • Redistribution: £75
  • Real Cost: £45
  • Solidarity price:£15

Are you are wondering what amount to pay?

Redistribution: You easily meet your basic needs (food, shelter, transportation), have access to regular healthcare, own or lease a car, own your home or rent in the higher end, have access to financial savings, may not need to work to meet basic needs, have access to expendable income for dinners out, coffees, new clothes, etc., and can afford to take time off and vacation many times a year.

You may have access to generational wealth.

You rarely question whether you can afford things when making personal purchases, you do not need to follow a monthly budget.

Real cost: You can easily meet your basic needs easily and have supplemental income for dinners out, coffee, new clothes, etc.

You have some savings, you own or lease a car, and can afford to take vacations and time off annually.

You have access to healthcare beyond basic healthcare and have semi regular massages, etc.

You hold some debt. Maybe you budget for your month, but there’s a lot of wiggle room and you can usually afford to do the things you desire.

Solidarity price: You can meet your basic needs and have some supplemental income for special nights out though you experience some amount of stress around money.

You hold some debt but it doesn’t hold you back from attaining your basic needs. You are employed and you might have access to financial savings.

You can take a vacation annually or every few years without a significant financial burden.

You work within a bound budget


If you want to join us and a financial contribution is not currently possible for you or if you have any questions please email Kwem at collective@healingsolidarity.org.

The Spoken Word Poetry and Collaging Course as a healing Space for BIPOC folks  is offered with part funding from Emergence Foundation.