Get to know the accomplished individuals who will present at the TEDxGreenville conference on April 8th! In this series, writer Jennifer Oladipo asks some compelling questions.
Lindsey Lyla Flower is a spoken word artist who writes from her soul, often looking for inspiration in current events.
How does your work or art affect the way you see yourself?
My art helps me to remember to not only value my feelings and work through them, but to remember that my voice matters. Spoken word has helped me realize that my voice might be the only voice speaking for many people. It has also helped me see that sometimes the things that are hardest for me to bring to a stage are the things that need to be said, even if it is only for my own therapeutic needs.
My choice of creatively expressing myself, feelings and social justice issues through poetry has shown me that I am a very strong and values individual. Spoken word has given me a voice and a platform to reach people and an outlet for myself.
Are there any words that should ever be silenced?
The only words and phrases I think should ever be silenced would be those meant to be derogatory. Too often we get caught up in how others are not like us or not living the way we believe they should, and so we start to internalize resentment towards them, and then create terms and phrases that help justify our feelings and make ourselves feel better than those who are different than us. It is a very interesting thing to deal with. Derogatory terms are used because of bias, because of feeling inferior and needing to feel superior next to someone else, or to exercise power over someone.
Many people struggle with the idea of being “politically correct” and directly couple it with not using derogatory terms. For many, it is upsetting to have to watch their own language to “make others comfortable,” but what people do not account for is how they would feel if being called something as equally degrading. We are not just making “others comfortable” by filtering our speech to be less degrading, but making room for progress and equality.
What is your favorite TED talk and why?
My favorite TED talk has to be Theaster Gates’ “How to revive a neighborhood: with imagination, beauty and art.” Gates took houses in a Chicago neighborhood that many regarded as undesirable, and turned them into resources for the people inside this community. He created houses that hold space for art, books of knowledge and even a black cinema house that screens movies that are relevant to people who live in this community. The idea was not only bringing resources to people in a community that is not gifted resources like others, but also empowering people with outlets to express themselves, learn and be surrounded by information relevant to them.
I love that not only was Gates providing these houses before his TED talk, but that TED chose to bring him to a platform where people everywhere could be inspired and filled with determination to create.
TEDxGreenville is a very important part of this community. It strives to bring fresh new ideas not only to Greenville but also to the entire Upstate. Its mission is to provide a platform for presenters to spread information and thoughts on a brighter future and a more beautiful present. I am so honored to be allowed to bring my voice to the TEDxGreenville stage. I believe my voice will not only be heard in Greenville and the Upstate, but across the country.
For more information about Kaleidoscope speakers and performers, visit our 2016 presenter page, where extended bios are available. The April 8th event is sold out, but watch for details about our free live feed.