"To my Amsterdam, Bijlmer, Rotterdam massive… Omari and I thank ALL of you for providing us with an incredible life changing experience and the chance to discover a new home. I’ve been to Amsterdam several times but this felt like the first. Thank you for your support, creativity, talent, and most importantly, our shared vision for positive art and collective resources. The Spoken World Project documentary film will be created and completed through the strength of your generosity and resources."

Sharrif Simmons is a performance artist, songwriter and activist whose writing career took off in the early nineties. Sharrif performs his special blend of poetry and music across the world, from Brooklyn to Berlin, from Birmingham to Amsterdam. In 2010 he founded the Birmingham Arts And Music Festival (B.A.A.M!).

During his residency Sharrif Simmons and his son, music producer Omari Jazz Simmons, worked on a new documentary film Spoken World Project in collaboration with local artist Heike Tjepkema. The idea for this film sprang from a shared curiosity in the changing ways people are (not) using their voices in today's society. The documentary explores the power of voice, language, music and the importance of the oral tradition through interviews with actors, comedians, poets, artists, musicians, religious leaders, filmmakers, activists, vocal coaches and teachers. While in residency Sharrif also performed extensively in and outside of Amsterdam (a.o. at FATFORM, North Sea Round Town and Felix Poetry Festival) and organised workshops at NoLIMIT. Omari Jazz worked on the audioscape of the documentary, performed on Red Light Radio and organised workshops at NoLIMIT. For Omari's Red Light Radio show click here.

Sharrif & Omari Jazz Simmons

Sharrif Simmons (US, ) & Omari Jazz Simmons (US, )

Performance at FATFORM © Peter Villerius Spoken World Project in collaboration with Heike Tjepkema © Sharrif Simmons Heike Tjepkema Meet&Greet at the studio © Sharrif Simmons Omari Simmons

© 2017 Open Ateliers ZO Artist in Residence
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