Chinonyerem Odimba Profile picture
Writer/Poet/Director. AD & CEO @tiatafahodzi / Chair @TheatreBristol / Winner @Channel4 Playwriting Award 2018 /@WomensPlayPrize finalist 2020/ All views mine.
15 Sep
I literally do not care which ‘specific’ area of theatre you’re working in you should be seeking better representation in your conversations and strategic meetings - and not just from invited guests. Your core team, key partnerships and those with power in the conversation.
Honestly be done with excuses. Talking about European theatre. Find Global Majority creatives. Talking about young people theatre? Find Global majority YA theatre practitioners. Talking about Working class theatre? You talking about mums in theatre? YOU GET THE FLIPPING MESSAGE!!
I no longer accept that you can’t find them. Some aren’t even bothering to look. You need to reach into the bit of you that likes the space you take up. You have kill dead the saviour complex. Take 5 minutes to imagine there’s a Global Majority artist who might know more than you
Read 4 tweets
27 Mar
I don’t think I I will ever understand the vindictiveness, coldness and casual cruelty that some people think is part of being in art/theatre/culture. I will never understand why you think it is only when people are dancing to your particular tune that you can even see them.
I woke up feeling completely hurt this morning. And it’s one small thing that’s done it. And that small thing was all about making me feel small. I’ve gone the work, put in the hours, and still I have to go through a process of undermining me and my work. And it hurts ultimately.
And yes it is individuals. Individuals with their individual shit. Or yes it institutions and systems. Also with their own agenda. But I literally find the process of making work and then being shut out of it or attempts to erase me impossible to handle any more. I am so tired.
Read 6 tweets
25 Mar
Today it occurred to me that I am carrying this weight around. A load built of all the day to day griefs of the moment. We have lost so much snd so many. And so many of us are carrying that weight. And all we have left is each other. To make it light. To make light. To care...
We won’t always have the capacity. We won’t always have the time. But it feels like if that’s the job at hand...to just lift that weight off each other sometimes through care...through joy...through wonder...then I volunteer!
If you’re feeling down right now and you need to know someone is there then get in touch by DM. Just a hi or someone to just witness what you’re feeling. You don’t have to do it alone. So many of know how that feels. Just saying I’m also I literally the funniest person I know!
Read 4 tweets
14 Mar
What is truly exhausting this week is it feels like I’m only valued when I’m willing and fertile ground for others to do their learning...
Whether as a woman...
Whether as a Black person...
Whether as a Black woman...

I am a place you come to do harm, and learn to be better.
Where is the gawdforsaken humanity in that?

Find new ways to learn that doesn’t cost me so much.
Find new ways to learn so I can take a day off from teaching sometimes.
Find new ways to learn so you can look at me and see a woman, being human, an artist, a leader, a friend.
And if I do engage in the ‘teaching’ at least do me the courtesy of seeing that that costs me in invisible ways. That when I speak up about my beautiful dark-skinned Black womanhood, and what the world looks like from my eyes, I have to push aside so many other parts of who I am.
Read 7 tweets
14 Mar
Mother’s Day has me thinking on...
Sending love to my girl who has worked so hard to focus and stay positive...
Sending love to single parents...
Sending love to women for whom not being a mother is not a choice...
Sending love to women for whom not being a mother is a choice...
Sending love to women whose babies did not survive...you still someone’s mother...
Sending love to women who cannot celebrate their own mothers...
Sending love to women who have lost their mothers...
Sending love to women who know being a mother has saved their life...
Sending love to women who fear a world where they have to bring up daughters...
Sending love to women who are asking ‘how do we bring up our sons differently?’...
Sending love to women who fall sleep every night praying that their daughters may never be brutalised...
Read 4 tweets
11 Mar
There are so many women feeling they have very little reserves left, who are now having to dig deep just to get through the news/media, the conversations, the public discourse, and I just want to acknowledge that what we are all be feeling is very very real. Take care please x
We have so much demanding our time and attention. We have deadlines and emails and zooms. But the biggest form of activism now is to recognise that these feelings need space. If you can give the gift of space, and time and a moment for tears, please do! Ask, care, and act on it.
And for those of us who are being reminded in this moment that safety as Black women may never have been an option - that whatever space we occupy shows us violence, I send love. And thanks for those sharing their stories. The cost of that does not go unnoticed. You're seen.
Read 5 tweets
3 Feb
Did I just see what I saw? There is now a *White Working Class Writers Guild* group on Twitter?
I think we all need to talk. You see many of us ordinary folks, and many academics have been trying to shout down lie that has been told that the working class experience in UK is singularly White. It is a lie so ingrained in the arts that we’ve not challenged or interrogated it.
Mostly I’m sad. It s lie that has been at heart of racial and cultural divides in this country for too long. The poorest and most neglected areas of of this country also tend to boast the most diversity. Families of immigrants and refugees are almost entirely working class.
Read 12 tweets
24 Oct 20
How do we speak to each other? How do we hear each other? How do we realise that sometimes we’re saying the same thing, sometimes fighting the same fight just expressing it differently? Timeline is full of commentary from people who think they’re on polar ends of something...
And they’re really not. The polarity that seems to be needed for us to feel validated in our values and principles in discussions is a smokescreen that simply does the very thing we are all asking for: nuance, to be seen for who we are, to be heard.
An example. I have been intrigued about how the unspoken values around ‘excellence’ night do more harm to Black artists in theatre than we know sometimes. I then read a post about how there’s nothing wrong with ‘excellence’ when it comes to Black work. And I agree.
Read 15 tweets
23 Oct 20
Not going to lie, I have been hanging on emotionally by a very thin thread all week. Everyday feeling ever more fragile and worried that the smallest thing will tip me over. But I’ve continued on...I’ve done my own writing, supported others in theirs, and dreamt up new stories...
I have answered emails, sent info, proofed things, and tried to keep my diary updated. Have had phone calls, and made phone calls, and been encouraged and encouraged where I can. And all of these things so many others could point to in their week too...
And whilst doing all of this I have watched through daily tears, the leaders of the country I live in disgrace themselves, and the leaders of the country I was born in disgrace themselves...and through those tears have worried for family and felt so unsure of the word ‘home’.
Read 6 tweets
20 Aug 20
I went to bed last night in tears. I saw the post about the @DailyMailUK FB comments were PEOPLE were being gleeful and expressing joy at the death of a young refugee. This is no longer something we can put under labels of Brexit, Politics or Immigration - THIS IS PURE HATE.
Hate that PEOPLE are walking around with and justifying to each other in open public and civil spaces - the digital space is both of those things. And both our gov’t and media see nothing wrong it captialising and encouraging it. This is a deep corrosion of societal values...
And many know what that hate looks like and how it plays out systemically, politically and personally. What we are witnessing in this country is not a repeat of history. It is a new form of hate. PEOPLE use their inventiveness not just for good technological advances...
Read 13 tweets
30 May 20
I think one of the things we really have to take stock of in this moment is that we work with, are acquainted with, live next door to people who think humanity only becomes relevant when it directly touches in something about them or what they deem important...
When people talk about noticing the importance of the deafening silence of some in this moment, with this injustice, they are talking also about finally recognising the real value you put in my life in this beautiful skin...
And we’re going to have to honest that do many of the liberal Whiteness that takes place in this country is lip-service and performative. We will have to be honest some very liberal creative people secretly think ‘there’s too much talk about race’...
Read 16 tweets