Autograph, London

Mothers' Tongue:
Spoken Word Evening

19 May 2022 6 - 10pm

£8 / Pay what you can (£1+)
Doors open 6pm, performances start at 7pm

Book Tickets


Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA, UK

past event

This is a past event. Click here to see our current events


A special Thursday Late opening at Autograph's gallery in Hackney. See our current exhibitions, enjoy an outdoor bar, and join us for an evening of spoken word exploring themes of matrilineal history, diasporic identity and the impact of colonialism with award-winning poets, spoken word artists and writers Jaspreet Kaur, Antonia King and Sanah Ahsan. Surrounded by Poulomi Basu's powerful exhibition Fireflies, the performances will give account to cross-cultural female experiences and identities. They will explore themes relevant to Basu's work, and Sutapa Biswas' acclaimed film Lumen, now on at Autograph.

part of the exhibitions

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen

Free exhibition, 4 March - 4 June 2022
Where history has often marginalised the female voice, Sutapa Biswas’s newly-commissioned film Lumen reinstates it, not just as mainstay of family and home but as avatar of social conscience.

Read more

Poulomi Basu: Fireflies

Free exhibition, 4 March - 4 June 2022
In her deeply emotive and powerful new series Fireflies, Indian artist and activist Poulomi Basu reflects on experiences of trauma – particularly patriarchal violence – navigating the claustrophobia of home, dreams of freedom, defiance, and transcendence.

Read more

about the performers


Jaspreet Kaur

aka Behind the Netra is an award-winning spoken word artist and writer from East London. Her poetry focuses on sharing her thoughts on gender issues, mental health stigma and the postcolonial immigrant experience, and taboo issues within the South Asian community. Jaspreet has performed in numerous arts organisations, corporations and charities such as Theatre Royal London, House of Lords, Wembley Stadium and TEDx. Jaspreet debut book Brown Girl Like Me speaks directly to the experiences of South Asian women in Britain since 1978 and explores how to navigate difficulties that come with an intersectional identity.


Dr Sanah Ahsan

is a liberation psychologist, poet, presenter and educator. Her work is centred on compassion, decolonising our understandings of mental health and ‘embracing each other’s madness’. Her psychological practice is rooted in liberation and community psychology, drawing on therapeutics, poetics, and activism as interconnected practices to support racialised and marginalised people. Sanah's poetry won the Outspoken Performance Prize 2019 and was shortlisted for the White Review Prize 2022; Bridport Prize 2021. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and featured by TED, Channel 4 and BBC. Sanah is currently writing her debut poetry collection.

Antonia Jade King

is a Devon born London based poet. Her Debut pamphlet 'She Too Is a Sailor' explores the intersections of womanhood, deconstructs concepts of being othered and family. She currently hosts Boomerang Club and is a previous Hammer & Tongue poetry slam finalist. She has featured at Poetry and Shaah and Heaux Noire and was part of Apples and Snakes Writing Room programme in 2018. She has performed at numerous events including Love Supreme festival and Rallying Cry at Battersea Arts Centre. She is currently a Barbican Young Poet.

on the night

Doors open 6pm
See our current exhibitions by Poulomi Basu and Sutapa Biswas, and enjoy an array of delicious cocktails or grab a beer from our outdoor bar (contactless payment only)

Performances start 7pm
The performances will take place in Gallery 1, surrounded by the Poulomi Basu: Fireflies exhibition
Antonia King – 7-7:20pm
Sanah Ahsan – 7:20-7:40pm
Intermission  7:40-8:10pm
Jaspreet Kaur – 8:10-8:30pm

After the performances
The galleries will close at 9pm, but enjoy our bar until 10pm



Everyone is welcome at Autograph. We care about our visitors, staff, artists and community, and have measures in place to help ensure a safe visit for everyone. Have a look at our Visit Us page, it has full information about Covid-19 safety and accessibility at Autograph.


Accessible VEnue

Autograph welcomes people with all types of disabilities.



Help us keep everyone safe. If you are able to, please wear a face covering during your visit.


Step free

Our building and entrance is step free. A wheelchair accessible lift goes to all floors.


Can you spare a few moments? Autograph is carrying out a survey to better understand who our digital audiences are. The survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete. Anything you tell us will be kept confidential, is anonymous and will only be used for research purposes.

The information you provide will be held by Autograph and The Audience Agency, who are running the survey on our behalf. In compliance with GDPR, your data will be stored securely and will only be used for the purposes it was given.

You can take the survey here. Thank you!

Ticketing policy

Autograph's events are popular, and often sell out. We recommend booking a ticket in advance. If you need to cancel your ticket for any reason, you can receive a refund up to 24 hours before the start of the event. Seating is not reserved and is on a first-come first-seated basis. You do not need to bring your paper ticket to the event.

event supported by

Image: 1) Poulomi Basu,from Fireflies [detail], 2019 - ongoing. courtesy Poulomi Basu 2) Film stills: Lumen [detail], 2021, © Sutapa Biswas 3) Poulomi Basu,from Fireflies [detail], 2019 - ongoing. courtesy Poulomi Basu 4) Autograph, London. Photograph by Zoë Maxwell. 4) Installation view of Poulomi Basu: Fireflies exhibition at Autograph, London. 4 Mar – 4 Jun 2022. Curated by Bindi Vora. Photograph by Zoë Maxwell.  5) Poulomi Basu, from Centralia [detail], 2019 - present.