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Kate Tempest, Jo Cox and Helen Marten: Three amazing women who would tell Donald Trump where to shove his private jet if they got the chance

PUBLISHED: 15:01 07 January 2017

Poet Kate Tempest (Picture: Ben Birchall/PA)

Poet Kate Tempest (Picture: Ben Birchall/PA)

So here we are – a time of year for reflection, musing, and moving on. We are all agreed it has been a turbulent year, from the seemingly unstoppable terror attacks, the destruction of Syria, and the rise of the populist right in Europe, 2016 has been shocking to say the least.

Jo Cox was murdered outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, on June 16 (Picture: Yui Mok/PA) Jo Cox was murdered outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, on June 16 (Picture: Yui Mok/PA)

And then, Brexit and Donald Trump. A man when talking about women says, and I am sorry to remind you but… “I don’t even wait. When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em. You can do anything”.

Yep. That actually happened.

So, I thought I might leave the year with a nod to three amazing women who would tell Donald Trump where to shove his private jet if they got the chance.

Wise Woman One: Kate Tempest

If you don’t know her she’s an English poet, a spoken word artist and a musician. In 2013 at the age of 28 she won the Ted Hughes award and she is now a fellow at University College, London. And she rocks. Why? Because she is bold and brave.

A friend who knows her describes her as a ‘force of nature’ and she’s not wrong. Her last album she performed at ‘The Waterfront’, ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ is at once an aching rage at the world and a measured consideration of the human psyche.

It combines the personal and political with passion and prowess, taking aim at capitalism, celebrity culture, political corruption, but localising meaning through her beautiful, at times dark, desperate, and sad, description of seven strangers, who live side by side on a London street, who are all, for very different reasons, awake at 4.18am.

There is some of all of us in those seven people. In her song ‘Europe is Lost’ she reminds us to look inward:

“Top down violence, a structural viciousness/ Your kids are dosed up on medical sedatives/ But don’t worry bout that, man, worry ‘bout terrorists”

Helen Marten won the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture (Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA) Helen Marten won the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture (Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA)

She reminds us that, ordinary people like us cannot stop ISIS or get rid of Trump, but we can make a difference on a smaller scale, and that value should never be dismissed, as that difference is humanity.

We can love and notice our kids, we can keep on teaching them good will win, we can buy a homeless person lunch, we can smile at people, write to our local MPs.

At the end of her rage and passionate set Kate simply reminds us to: “Wake Up and Love More”. Yes.

Wise Woman Two: Jo Cox

‘Wake Up and Love More’. An idea that I am sure was shared by the inspiring and visionary Jo Cox.

There is no need to say more except that her family and the way they responded was so humbling, so good, so graceful.

Wise Woman Three: Helen Marten

The Turner Prize is an interesting reflection of where this country is at and Helen’s work with ‘junk sculptures’ made from everyday objects are complexed, in flux, intangible.

Maybe Helen is trying to suggest complexities and challenges in the world today?

I’m no art critic, but what I do know is when she accepted the prize money (which she shared with the other nominees) it was moving.

She says “(with the) ever prominence of far-right groups having a very visible and political platform for their xenophobic, homophobic and racist outlook on the world, I think as artists today and as people in this environment (we are) deeply privileged to be in a community whose lifeblood is diversity and exuberance”.

Yes. And we are deeply privileged here in Norwich and Norfolk to have the ability to get up tomorrow, make a cup of coffee and ‘Wake Up and Love More’.

So let’s just do it.

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