by Fatima Rizwan, Project Manager
illustration by Meena Rakasi, Content Manager
Poetry has always been a veil, behind which the depths of the soul lie. A soul that is an observer of the world around it that dares to challenge the mind and the heart through ink.
Vaneeza is an 18 year old poetess finding her place in this world.
The rebellion of today’s generation is the strength to shine light on topics that have been curtained as ‘sensitive’ for far too long. Vaneeza is one of the poets that I have come across who doesn’t fit neatly into one category of poetry, but rather explores her soul with poetry itself. The one thread in common between all her pieces is the boldness and fire that makes the reader step out of their comfort zone or dive deep within their being.
The eponymous young poet is based in Lahore, Pakistan, and she has been writing from a very young age as a coping mechanism. Only recently has Vaneeza become public with her pieces. The reader can see the raw emotion in the young soul’s old words.
Taking up space as a young writer has been and still is a struggle for Vaneeza - one of the reasons she wouldn’t let anyone read her writing. Because as much as we like to give girls advice to embrace the true you, society doesn’t allow that--rather, it shoves you a guideline book that you are expected to follow. With the constant expectations to prove herself and countless responsibilities on her shoulders, Vaneeza grew up wanting to invest her energy in writing and the liberation of women, especially when it comes to letting them have a platform to speak up about their experiences.
“my fear left me
when I fell in love
with being a woman”
She decided to put herself out there when she realized that the only person that has the power to define her worth is herself, and isn’t that the true meaning of empowerment? Being in control of what you feel and what you do.
Vaneeza is not just a poetess but a willful global citizen wanting to make a change for the people around her. The ones passionate about arts do have a difficult time adjusting with our surroundings. It’s like they are the minority, therefore treated inferior. Vaneeza recognises that and has a strong belief that change begins when voices are amplified, when people like us, the youth speak up. She believes that spoken word can only generate when genuine poetry comes through and we need to start recognising the poetry that lies within the streets of the city and country we live, in rather than praising men like Bukowski for being ‘subpar at best’.
This may not seem wrong but it becomes infuriating when the talent of young souls is being neglected and they constantly have to compete in a race they don’t belong in. Vaneeza, a student of LACAS school is taking the initiative to organise a slam poetry platform in school “Shakespeare and the Crush," as she really wanting people to start vocally expressing themselves and for others to be able to recognise the talent and beauty in their own people.