Emirati Spoken Word Artist Afra Atiq On Having An Entrepreneurial Drive As An Artist
Emirati spoken word artist Afra Atiq is the first poet to win the 2017 ADMAF Creativity Award, and a number of poetry slams and competitions. Atiq has performed at various platforms such as TEDxFujairah, Step Music Festival, NYUAD Arts Center, Sheraa, and other universities and schools. She also serves the community through mentorships and workshops with Untitled Chapters, a hub for Emirati women writers.
Speaking on the sidelines during the 19th Edition of Naseba Global WIL Economic Forum in Dubai, UAE’s first spoken word artist Afra Atiq talked about the hurdles in choosing a career path towards art. “I realized that anything worth having, doesn’t come easy, it comes with difficulty. You have to embrace the obstacles and figure out what you’re gonna do with them.”
As a spoken word poet, she also discussed the entrepreneurial trait one needs: “The journey of an artist is not very different from the journey of an entrepreneur,” she says, pointing out that you need to be business-savvy to sell your craft and art, and most especially, have that entrepreneurial drive to want to succeed and share your craft. Atiq also emphasizes on how people’s stories matter: “Whether you’re a poet, you’re a writer, or you’re an entrepreneur- whatever your field is, you need to use your voice to figure out how you can use your voice to tell your story, in whatever medium you choose.” What’s next for the spoken word artist? Besides multiple projects, Atiq is keen for the Emirates Literature Festival’s 10th anniversary in 2018, which would have a poetry night at Dubai Opera in celebration, where Atiq would be one of the performers.