Realise the real lies! This spoken word theatre show sees four of Western Sydney’s best poets – Ali Al Haj, Aishah Ali, Pola Fanous and Rameen Hayat – explore the increasingly blurred lines between reality and fallacy in the 21st-century. Set in a dystopian future, these young storytellers embark on a journey into the many faces of truth, playing with perspectives and envisioning what the future might look like if things don’t improve – Black Mirror style! An amalgamation of poetry, performance and play, this will be an experience like no other.

Programmed with the SWF Youth Curators.

Supported by the City of Parramatta.

Rameen Hayat (Australian)

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Rameen Hayat Malik is a spoken word poet and Engineering/Law student at the University of Sydney who uses both art and STEM to tell her story and contribute to meaningful representation of underrepresented communities. Rameen has performed at the Sydney Writers Festival, Youth Week and has been involved in many programs including Real Talk, R.E.S.P.E.C.T program and spoken word theatre show Right Here Right Now with support from the Bankstown Poetry Slam.

Pola Fanous (Australian)

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Pola Fanous is a poet and performing artist from Western Sydney. An Egyptian-born immigrant, at age 20 Pola has been published in The Resurrection anthology, the ARNA anthology, the USYD student anthology and in Honi Soit. Pola has performed his poetry Australia-wide, including at the Digital Writers' Festival, The Plot Festival, the Bankstown Poetry Grand Slam and the Parliament House of Australia. He competed in the 2018 Australian Poetry Slam – National Final and was appointed 2018 NSW Slam Champion.

Ali Al Haj (Australian)

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Ali is a recent UNSW graduate, who since attending and performing at Bankstown Poetry Slam, has worked on breaking stereotypes, whether in the workplace or on stage. He expresses his stories, experiences and opinions through spoken word poetry. Over the last 2 years, Ali has performed at events and venues including; Sydney Writers' Festival, the Biennale of Sydney, Parliament House Canberra, and recently, his 3rd consecutive Bankstown Poetry Grand Slam.

Aishah Ali (Australian)

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Aishah Ali is a fourth-year law and politics student, spoken word artist and filmmaker. Her poetry has been published in the BPS Anthology, The Resurrection, Vertigo and Whynot?. In 2017, she placed second in the BPS Grand Slam and went on to perform with prominent organisations such as Sydney Writers' Festival, Moonlight Feminists and Batyr. In 2018, she has taken the winning title with her team Mouthful of Melanin at BPS Grand Finals and directed her second film in collaboration with Amnesty International.