A YOUNG poet will play a video of white people being hit by food as part of her performance at the Brighton Fringe.

Subira Wahogo, 24, is a Sussex University graduate who is heavily involved in creative arts. She has chosen this visual performance for the festival to highlight the different types of racism that happens in society.

She has written a poem entitled Coffee and Cream which reflects her experience of “being objectified as a consumable food item” that reflects the colour of her skin.

The video features people of colour hurling food and drinks at white people and it will run as a background to her performance poetry.

She hopes that her poem and poetry will help highlight the everyday issues of discrimination and the dehumanising effect of casual racism.

She said: “This is the first time I am doing a performance for the Brighton Fringe.

“The film I am doing will run as a background visual for my poem Coffee and Cream.

“The film features people of colour throwing food at white people.

“I chose to do this because this comes from my personal experience as being labelled and objectified as a food item based on the colour of my skin.

“Last summer I went to the beach with my friend.

“We were lying down and relaxing, and this man came up to us and made a pass at us, he called us coffee and cream.

“It made me very angry.

“Right after the incident at the beach, I wrote on Facebook and asked if anyone else has had similar experiences and I got many responses.

“Some people responded saying they have been called ‘Bounty’, ‘Oreo’, ‘chocolate’, ‘chocolate milk’, Nandos chicken and even sweet and sour sauce.

“Unfortunately that was not the first time I’ve been labelled as a food.”

Ms Wahogo said the casual racist remarks leaves people of colour disempowered and feel less than human.

She said: “The point of my poem and film is to show that ‘exotification’ of people of colour as consumable things does happen and it happens in everyday settings.

“The remarks may sound casual and harmless, but this is a very dehumanising experience for us.

“We are not food items.

“After the comments I received on Facebook, it made me realise a lot of people can relate to this, and that it is more common than I thought.

“The poem and the film of people of colour throwing food at white people is for people of colour to reclaim our power, and to throw back at whiteness.

“It is a cathartic performance, it is symbolism for us to say what it is like being treated and demeaned as food and not seen as a human being.

“Being called ‘Bounty’ or ‘Chocolate’ is a very disempowering feeling for us.

“The volunteers in the video understand what it is like to be on the other side.”

Subira said the poem and the performance have no violent elements to them, but it is to encourage people to put themselves in other people’s shoes, and to think how their words can really hurt people.

She is also working on another poem which talks about her experience of being attacked in the street.

Subira said: “I had an experience where this guy attacked me in the street.

“Poetry is a way for me to shout back, and taking back the power that was taken away from me.”