Lemonade – the new visual album by Beyoncé – has already caused an online sensation both for it’s portrayal of strong black women and illustrating the power of combining music, fashion and digital film.
Poetry features heavily on the album, with Beyoncé reading Kenya-born, Somali-British poet, Warsaw Shire’s prose throughout the film.
Shire was already well known, having been named London’s first-ever Young Poet Laureate in 2014, publishing her first book of poems, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, in 2011 and having over 16k followers on Instagram. However, this endorsement from Beyoncé will be sure to catapult Shire to international acclaim.
Born to immigrant Somali parents who moved to London when she was a child, Shire writes about the experiences of black women, as well as identity, body issues, motherhood, sex and infidelity.
Beyoncé borrows most heavily from Shire’s For Women Who Are Difficult to Love. Shire made the below film for the piece, which has now had in excess of 212,000 views on Vimeo.
USP: By featuring the work of new artists Beyoncé is helping to empower younger women and provide a platform for their creativity, as well as adding depth to her own music.