At the crossroads of race, gender and social-economic backgrounds, Sol Collective’s second annual Poets of Color showcase will highlight the young and under-represented voices of the greater Sacramento region on October 20.
Curated by Sol Life Media’s creative director, Salvin Chahal, Poets of Color aims to be a strong testament of the human experience. From the perspective of individuals raised in communities often misrepresented in the public eye, this year’s showcase will feature artists from Sacramento, the Bay Area, San Diego and Chicago, including the 2017 SAYS Slam Team.
Since its sold-out launch in 2016, Poets of Color has transcended its slated one-night local showcase into international praise, thanks to the production and distribution of photos, YouTube clips and an official album. By resonating with audiences far beyond Sacramento, Chahal and his supporters have been encouraged to create a greater space this year, with aims to document the event from prelude to postlude, encompassing the wide range of emotions felt throughout the night.
“This whole show is inspired by just celebrating each other,” said Chahal. “Celebrating each other’s wins and losses and everything else in-between. I think if we can have more of that outside of a show, as well, then, you know, it’s a win for me. I just want more people who usually wouldn’t be together to be together.”
In traveling the world, Chahal, a South Sacramento native, has been exposed to the highs and lows of being identified as a South Asian male. His experiences have rooted an understanding of his role as an individual, which birthed a responsibility in him to create a platform for the voices who represent marginalized communities.
“In anything I do, I just try to share my story,” said Chahal. “Or the stories of others, so people who are engaging with the poetry, or the immigrant narrative, or whatever it may be, they just become a little more human and accept the fact that there’s a lot of people around this world who experience things that you may not have expected just by looking at them.”
From an outsider’s perspective, most experiences could easily be dismissed as esoteric. However, the success of Poets of Color comes with the realization that many issues, regardless of an individual’s location, are indeed exclusive to the black and brown experience, but in the end we are all subject to being affected.
“I think a lot of issues derive from trying to put borders and a lot of groups go, ‘If you’re like this, you should be like that,'” said Chahal. “But I think a lot of these stories bring us together by highlighting our struggles and our accomplishments. I think a lot of the viewers around the world that do watch the videos, or listen to the albums, or hear about it, they may not be able to relate to a lot of these experiences, but they are at least acknowledging it and appreciating that it exists.”
To view the full list of performers or to purchase a ticket to Poets of Color, visit Eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-young-poets-of-color-showcase
For more information on Sol Collective, visit SolCollective.org