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LADIES FIRST: BEFORE THE 6ix features influential women in the evolution of Canadian Hip Hop culture – G98.7 radio personality/poet Jemeni, playwright/emcee Motion, filmmaker Alison Duke and DJ/ producer L’Oqenz. The panel discussion visits the stories, events and musical contributions of hip hop artists Michie Mee, Fresh Arts and Honey Jam, and the critical  role women have played in the history of Toronto’s Hip-hop music scene. The Before the 6ix Black History Month Series is curated by editor/journalist Del Cowie. Monday, February 13 at 7 PM – 8 PM EST
Toronto Public Library
789 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4W 2G8

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So great to hear the new SE7ENs Mixtape ‘A Suh We Stay’ that just dropped this weekend. 21 tracks of lyrics, beats, muuuusik for the heads, body and soul! Features include Frankie Payne, Eklipz and NuBreed MC. And to get to join in on the mix on the “Time Machine” TO to JA collabo with SE7EVs (Kolor Brown & J Wyze), Kabaka Pyramid and Five Steez is bless! Big Up ((DTS)) -Deep to the Soul- SE7EVs and SpottMuzik! Cop it!…/a-suh-we-stay-se7ens-mixtape-201617

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Dept. of Humanities
Culture & Expression

Spoken Word, Culture & Performance Showcase

Date: Thursday, December 1st, 2016
Place: Senior Commons Room
Address: 010 Vanier College
Showtime: 7PM – 9:30PM
Hosted by Motion

Join the debut class of GRIOTS TO EMCEES 2016 for a special presentation of new creative work celebrating the Art and Power of Spoken Word!

12 weeks, 12 classes, 12 topics, a journey through the genres, history, art and legacy of Spoken Word! It’s been great to teach and work with the students of York U in this intensive exploration of orality in the African Diaspora and beyond! And nothing better than seeing  some of my favorite people & poets – from D’bi Young to Nth D’gri, Nas and Mathematik, Dionne Brand and Sonia Sanchez – being read, watched and studied throughout the course. And even better, Griots to Emcees will be back again, Spring 2017, at York U.

SPOKEN WORD, CULTURE & PERFORMANCE is a new course that explores the past/present/future of Diasporic oral culture – from ancient storytellers to spoken word, rap, dub, slam, lyricism, and performance poetry – as well as the socio-political, historical and cultural contexts that inspire and amplify artists’ voices on stage, page, theatre, mixtape and digital media.
#griotstoemcees #YorkU #spokenword


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Thank You MONTREAL! #CINARS 2016


DJ L’Oqenz behind the Oraltorio sound controls at CINARS 2016, Montreal

It was great to hit Montreal for the latest stop on the Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape Tour at CINARS 2016. With 3 shows at the renowned L’Ecole Nationale De Theatre Du Canada, the Off-CINARS Presentation was a music-filled double-bill with Volcano Theatre’s Century Song.

Thank you to the road team – Tara Mohun (Stage Manager), producer Samantha Holland, Andre Du Toit (Lighting Designer) Rebecca Vandevelde (Associate Lighting Designer), soundman Eddy DaOriginalOne David, and Kaitlin Hickey (Associate Video Designer) for keeping Oraltorio moving on the road!

Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape is written & performed by Motion, composed & performed by DJ L’Oqenz, directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa-Otu and choreographed by Roger C. Jeffrey.

Supported by Obsidian Theatre Company, KABIN, Pirates Blend, Toronto Arts, Ontario Arts & Canada Arts Councils.


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Oraltorio Box and Alley - web

ORALTORIO: A Theatrical MixTape is excited to hit our next stop – MONTREAL – for the CINARS Biennale. Catch our live and electric double-bill with Volcano Theatre’s CENTURY SONG November 17th, 18th and 19th in the Pauline McGibbon Theatre at the renowned Ecole National de Theatre! Special Afterparty feat. DJ L’Oqenz Friday Nite!! Presented by IFT Theatre & MotionLive. See link for details!

DIRECTOR: Mumbi Tindyebwa-Otu

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A gripping meditation on masculinity and violence, A Man’s Story follows young painter Kam after a triggering boxing practice forces him to confront his father about his domestic abuse. Directed by Fernando Arrioja and written by Motion, the film stars Emmanuel Kabongo and is produced by Jessica Adams.

The creative team, all alumni residents of the seminal Canadian Film Centre includes composer Ben Fox and editor Simone Smith.

A Man’s Story premiers at the 2016 ReelWorld Film Festival on Saturday October 15th, 2016 at the Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre. Short Film program commences at 11:45 AM.


Editor: Simone Simth

Cinematographer: James Klopko

Principle Cast: Emmanuel Kabongo, Kim Roberts, Lucky Ejim, Pedro Miguel Arce, Thamela Mpumlwana

Producers: Jessica Adams, Emmanuel Kabongo, Wendy Motion Brathwaite, Fernando Arrioja

Executive Producer: Charles Officer

Production Company: Arrioja Films

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The Music Gallery presents… Motion X Avant XI

Music Gallery History Series: Motion

Sunday, October 16 Event: 6pm OCADU, Lambert Lounge 100 McCaul St. Free

musicgalleryconcept1_03Over the past twenty five years, Motion has been one of Toronto’s true treasures of spoken word art. Her aural/sonic works span the realms of word, sound and drama. Starting her career as a founder of Canada’s longest-running hip hop radio show (The Master Plan, CIUT), and one of the earliest hip hop artists in Toronto to appear on record, she soon became a mentor for the Fresh Arts Movement. Motion’s lyrical agility has taken her to the stages of Manifesto, Nuit Blanche, CBC TV and HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Her theatrical works have been staged at Factory Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille and the Banff Centre.

“Bang the Furnace: Music, Culture & Identity in Toronto’s Black Aural Spaces” passes through house parties to the moving streets of Caribana, block-O’s and clubs to the waves of college radio. These aural spaces have transported, mobilized and reinvented cultural expression in Toronto’s Black communities. This presentation, complete with turntables, explores the lineage and power of art and sound through the ears and words of this vital emcee/poet and playwright.

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MOTHERLAND is an interdisciplinary theatre work conceived & directed by MUMBI TINDYEBWA, written by MOTION and composed by DAVID MESIHA.  Featuring a cast of seven women’s voice, MOTHERLAND explores the African mother’s encounter with the ‘other’ from historical realties to modern day phenomenon of international adoption.

From it’s sold-out workshop production during the 2014 BAND/TD Then & Now Festival, to it’s extensive theatrical development in conjunction with Toronto’s renowned Obsidian Theatre Company,  this site-specific opera brings together powerful collaborators from the worlds of theatre, music, dance and multi-media.

Join us for the final workshop presentation of MOTHERLAND as we gear up for our premier production in 2017!

RSVP here for our special presentation on Sunday September 19th, 2016 at KABIN, 11 Carlaw, Unit 6, Toronto, 4:30 PM. SPACE IS LIMITED.




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40 dayz

Poet, playwright & spoken word artist MOTION joins the Faculty of the Culture and Expression  Program at York University and launches her debut course. GRIOTS TO EMCEES: Culture, Performance and Spoken Word, explores the form, function and content of Spoken Word, in terms of language, rhythm, historical developments, social- political contexts, as well as key artists of poetry, rap, dub, slam, lyricism and spoken word as live and direct purveyors of culture. Students examine performance as text and artist/creator narratives, commentaries and cultural discourse, and survey the continuum through African storytelling traditions to contemporary global evolutions of lyricism and spoken word. Students will explore the various modes of aural dissemination – the stage, the page, audio recording, theatre, film and digital media – and analyze orality and voice as tools of cultural affirmation and resistance. The course includes a writing/performance intensive component.

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GRIOT logo


VOCAL Canadian Spoken Word Poets Visit Ghana for Arts Festivals in August 2016

The Northern Griots Network (NGN) and Inkfluent are proud to announce the visit by the VOCAL team of Canadian spoken word poets to Accra, Ghana for the Nkabom Literary Festival (Aug. 14-17) and Chale Wote Street Art Festival (Aug. 18-21).

The visit represents a groundbreaking collaboration for the spoken word community in both Ghana and Canada. The VOCAL team includes leading figures in the Canadian spoken word movement, with backgrounds in Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana, Antigua, and Jamaica. Inkfluent and Chale Wote are the pre-eminent producers of innovative spoken word and multi-arts events in Ghana.

VOCAL stands for “Voices of Canadian Artists Linked,” and is the first Canadian-African collaboration in an NGN series of exchanges since 2013 that include initiatives in Jamaica (Jamaican Poetry Festival), Trinidad and Tobago (Cascadoo Festival), and Canada (South-North Griots Summit in Toronto). Along with a performance of the hit theatre/music piece Oraltorio at Chale Wote on Aug.21, and a spoken word feature at Inkfluent’s Vocal Portraits show on Aug. 17, the visiting artists will deliver an Aug. 16 workshop at University of Ghana, and meet Ghanaian artists for dialogue/networking.


“As artists of Caribbean and African heritage, our team is looking forward to linking with Ghanaian artists and audiences in the spirit of exchange and exploration of contemporary and future currents in African and pan-African culture,” noted NGN National Coordinator, Anthony Bansfield. “Added Inkfluent Director, Kwame Write, “We are tremendously excited to have these accomplished, internationally celebrated artists visit Ghana, and we see this initiative as the beginning of a fruitful partnership for artists from both nations.”

Featured Artists

DJ L’Oqenz: DJ, beatmaker, composer of critically acclaimed ‘Theatrical MiXtape,’ Oraltorio

Dwayne Morgan: Music Award winning spoken word artist of Jamaican origin, author

Eddy DaOriginalOne: Beatbox poet extraordinaire, poet, and Trinidadian story-teller

Manchilde: Dancehall reggae/hip-hop MC, video artist/videographer/director

Motion: CBC Canadian Slam Champion, award-winning playwright, hip-hop MC

nth digri: Rapso/dub poet, Ottawa Slam Champion, recording artist, spoken word activist

For information on VOCAL: or

For information on program/tickets, please visit Nkabom Literary Festival on Facebook and the Chale Wote website at

Inkfluent is the biggest poetry movement in Ghana with thousands of followers across the country. Inkfluent runs Slam Ghana, an annual poetry competition festival for senior high school students, as well as The Write Experience, an art festival which involves the fusion of poetry, live music, contemporary dance, graffiti and short films. As well, Inkfluent runs several open mic shows, and has released a series of audio poetry compilations. For more information, contact Kwame Write at

The Northern Griots Network (NGN) is a collective of Canadian spoken word artists that networks spoken word poets and presenters. They also connect spoken word artists internationally to stimulate artistic growth, increase opportunities for spoken word worldwide, and support social engagement and advancement. VOCAL’s visit to Ghana is coordinated by the NGN, and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information, contact Anthony Bansfield at

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