Alexandria Park Community School
The Disappearing, 2016
Alexandria Park Community School is a vibrant and unique Kindergarten to Year 12 school located in heart of Sydney opposite Alexandria Park. It is a dual campus site, with the Senior School on Mitchell Road and the Junior School on Park Road. The Junior campus has expansive green spaces and playing areas which students from K – 12 are able to enjoy during lunchtimes, at sport and for lessons.
I dream about the past.
It was a full classroom
4 brothers standing next to each other. Stronger than a lion and as tall as 7 feet, so gigantic
the plants are so long, it may be covered with glass and contains in sand.
It is lost like the rest of us in this world.
- Collective poem, Alexandria Park Community Junior School (inspired by artist Jamie North’s work Succession, 2016)
In celebration of Harmony Day, The Red Room Company, in partnership with the 20th Biennale of Sydney and Carriageworks, held a workshop and poetry reading with primary school students from Alexandria Park Community Junior School. Alexandria Park is one of the most diverse schools in the country, with students coming from over 80 different countries, speaking over 60 languages.
Renowned poet Zohab Zee Khan led students from Years 5 and 6 through the Biennale of Sydney’s Embassy of Disappearance, prompting them to create poetic responses that map the appearing and reappearing worlds around them.
The Biennale of Sydney is a contemporary visual arts festival with a program of artist talks, performances, forums, family days, guided tours, and other special events. Students’ work was celebrated alongside Biennale artists’ responses to the evocative theme of Disappearance at a special reading, held at Carriageworks on Saturday, 2 April 2016.
These poetic outcomes will be published as part of The Red Room Company’s digital project, The Disappearing – a digital anthology of poetry linked to disappearing places.
Zohab Khan is an educator, poet and multidisciplinary artist. Since 2006, Zohab has been building a formidable career in spoken word poetry, culminating in taking out the title of the Australian Poetry Slam Champion in 2014. As a motivational speaker, didgeridoo player, and hip-hop artist Zohab has performed in venues and festivals across the world.
Zohab has performed and conducted poetry workshops in over 20 countries across the world and is the co-founder of The Pakistan Poetry Slam. His first collection of poetry “I Write” reached best seller status within 5 months of it's launch. Zohab’s poetry has been translated in four languages. He has made notable appearances at the Sydney, Auckland (New Zealand), Byron Bay, Bellingen, Ubud (Indonesia), Bookworm Literary (China), Sunshine Coast, Darwin, Hong Kong, Karachi, and National Young Writers Festivals. As well as performing at various music festivals including the world renowned Glastonbury Festival in 2016.
As an educator, Zohab’s poetry and self development workshops are in high demand and he has conducted over a thousand workshops in institutions worldwide. His workshops aim to inspire change and confidence in young people through spoken word poetry and brain hacks. With the incorporation of self- development techniques, spoken-word poetry becomes not just a platform for selfexpression but also one to inspire change and increase productivity.
As a 4th generation Australian of Pakistani heritage and having been raised in rural NSW, Zohab has channelled his distinct life experiences into stories with the intent to educate. Zohab seamlessly integrates Urdu and Punjabi into his work as he confronts a range of issues from racism to inequality and socio-economic disparities. Zohab’s high energy and powerful words have left countless inspired.