The Federation of Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) recently organised a Poetry Slam on the 29th of October at Bedlam, a community space in Delhi, to encourage ‘Conversations on Compassion’ towards animals. Being the national federation for the voice of animals, FIAPO provided a platform to artists, encouraging them to share their thoughts and stories on human-animal relationships, in this first-of-its-kind gathering.
Anushka Manchanda, artist, musician, vegan, environmentalist and FIAPO’s ambassador performed a very special piece, wherein she shared the emotional and physical suffering of animals in the dairy industry. The diva said, “There is a dire need for us to leverage whatever we can to speak up for the planet and its inhabitants. I’ve never performed poetry before, other than my music of course – but this was absolutely beautiful. The experience made me feel a deep connection to all of the other artists who performed and solidified my resolve to speak up for animals”.
From ancient times to the digital era, poets have expressed the great bonding and often exploitative relationship between humans and animals. A 1,000-year-old poem by Al-Ma’arri, titled ‘I no longer steal from nature’, which talks about how we unjustly steal from animals and often fail to realise the exploitation we partake in- has inspired many. Artists like Miss Kavita, who teaches at Suncity School also performed at the event; it truly justified how a poetic expression can jolt you. In her Hindi-beat-poetry, she said, ‘Some poems embrace you for a lifetime, some give you goosebumps and some leave a mark on your conscience’.
Ms. Varda Mehrotra, FIAPO’s Executive Director, shares, ‘As part of FIAPO’s work to influence consumer behaviour change, we’ve been working with musicians, actors, influencers, for a while now. Anushka being one of our biggest supporters of the 21-day-compassion-challenge has supported us to create a unique platform for poets and artists – to connect to the youth on a compassionate ground’. The success of this unique event will hopefully inspire activists across the world to participate in and organise poetry slams for animals and bring innovation to our methods of advocacy.