Malaika Kegode: Five Beautiful Things

28 May 2021

Malaika Kegode is a writer, performance poet and producer based in Bristol, and the powerful voice behind the upcoming gig-theatre show Outlier (12–26 Jun). Get to know Malaika with her selection of free-to-access digital content for May's edition of Five Beautiful Things:

1. James McDermott’s MANATOMY

"In 2020, James McDermott published a poetry collection with Burning Eye Books. His poems focus on sexuality, belonging and manhood in ways both playful and searing. In this poetry film, James brings his words to life. He goes from boy to lad to man, exploring what it means to be these things as a gay millennial. It’s fun, gorgeously produced and performed by a voice who knows exactly where his power comes from. I was especially touched by the intricacies and sensitivity in the relationship he explores with his father. There’s a real sense of nuance in examining a relationship that has a counterbalance between one not fully understanding the other, but loving them regardless."

Watch Manatomy for free until 5 Jun

2. The Linda Lindas live at LA Public Library

"The Linda Lindas took Twitter by storm this month! This amazing performance is so life-affirming, so fierce and harnesses anger in a way that feels incredibly powerful. Remember when you were a kid, and there was a song that made you really want to be in a band more than anything in the world? The Linda Lindas encapsulate that burning energy and passion in the form of four Asian-American and Latinx teenage girls. They are absolutely fantastic, riot grrrl as it should be. Highlights include “Racist Sexist Boy”, and a cover of Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl”. Unbridled joy!"

The Linda Lindas get loud in LA Public Library

3. The Lolita Podcast

"Lolita is a book that has such a heavy legacy. Vladimir Nabokov’s self-assured and detestable protagonist Humbert Humbert has been deeply explored for decades, but so often absent from the discussions about this book is the 12-year-old girl at the core of it. So much so that we sometimes even forget her real name: Dolores Haze. This podcast series is heavy listening at times, but host Jamie Loftus approaches everything in a way that feels light and contained. Her examination of her love-hate relationship to the source material and everything it’s spawned is well researched and thoroughly engaging. It’s a beautiful piece of work, and at its core is a desire to protect and elevate the voices of survivors."

Listen to The Lolita Podcast on Spotify

4. Short of the Week

"When I’m not focused on poetry and music, my other love is film. Having been a programmer for the student shorts at Encounters and Tallinn Black Nights, as well as working as an usher at many film festivals, I’ve watched hundreds of shorts. I’ve found there’s something specifically satisfying about a perfectly executed short film - it’s such a specific skill to be able to tell a story within such tight parameters. Short of the Week is a brilliant place to seek out a selection of some of the best shorts from around the world. They have a featured film each week but also do regular lists and themed recommendations. I encourage you to delve into their archive, pick something at random and treat yourself to a bit of magic!"

Discover a new story on Short of the Week

5. Guy Larsen’s Portfolio

Credit: Guy Larsen

"I’m a big fan of Guy Larsen and I’d love to work with him one day - I’m hoping that by writing that here I’m speaking it into existence! Guy is a filmmaker and artist who collaborates with a variety of different artists. His unique style of directing and creating has strangeness that can be both nightmarish and comforting at the same time. You can get a great sense of this from the illustrations on his website with their gentle sense of menace and nostalgia. He’s not bound by genre, and that is so exciting to see in an artist, everything he creates has its own life."

See more from Guy Larsen here

About Malaika Kegode

Malaika Kegode is a writer, performer and producer based in Bristol. She has performed around the UK at a number of celebrated venues, festivals and poetry events, such as Tongue Fu, Out-Spoken at The 100 Club, WOMAD, Boomtown Festival and BBC at the Edinburgh Festival. She has also worked with a number of organisations including Roundhouse, Historic England and Elstree Studios. She has been shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Award, had her work displayed at the Arnolfini in Bristol and has acted as tour support for Saul Williams at The Fleece.

In 2020, Malaika’s debut theatre show Outlier was commissioned by Bristol Old Vic after scratch performances as part of the Ferment season. Outlier will have its premiere on the main theatre stage this June as both an in-person and live-broadcast event.

In 2018 Malaika was included in the BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s 100 most influential black & minority ethnic people.

Malaika’s work tells of how we can find beauty and hope through the darkness. Her overall themes of family, mental health, addiction and love always have an undercurrent of optimism and strength. Her performance style has been described as “filmic” and “musical”.

Her two poetry collections, Requite (2017) and Thalassic (2020), are published by Burning Eye Books.

About Five Beautiful Things

Five Beautiful Things shines a light on inspirational digital content that is free to access from artists working across the UK and beyond. Each monthly post will feature recommendations curated by a different artist linked to Bristol Old Vic.