Boxes is a piece of spoken word poetry about the boxes society tries to put us in.
Boxes comes from the perspective of Loz Anstey, as they ask about what the essence of a box even is, and how they come to be. Their poetry and rhythm isn’t exactly complex, but there’s something about the directness and simplicity which really works, and there are some really cutting lines spread throughout.
This poetry is accompanied by an occasional second voice which sometimes feels potent but otherwise feels ancillary – but fortunately, it never becomes off-putting either. There’s also great music throughout which works effectively to support the poetry without ever taking centre stage.
Whilst this is a piece which deals with grand societal notions, Anstey never detaches themself or the piece from the day-to-day realities of being a person who exists outside of the boxes, feeling more like a friend letting loose than a lecturer. The interrogation of sexuality comes through looking at questions on a diversity monitoring form. The questioning of gender expression is framed through their fashion choices and experience with public toilets. Everything stays personal and human, whilst making the big and powerful points about the ways we almost compulsively try to box people’s identities in.
Summed up in its own words, Boxes is an affirmation and a powerful declaration that ‘I’ll not bend for straight edges, the sharpest of corners, for neat, slick, lazy, responses. I won’t.’
New Creatives is a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts, delivered in the Midlands by Rural Media. You can find this film here.
We also interviewed Loz Anstey, and you can read that interview here.