Clear Channel UK x POCC billboard campaign – Age

  • Amar Patel
  • James Chipman

In August 2021, I saw a callout on the Instagram page of POCC to submit a piece of art or writing on the theme of “age”. POCC is a brilliant platform and network amplifying the work of people of colour who are either part of the creative industries or hope to be. They have already collaborated with outdoor media owner Clear Channel to place “artist-in-residence” work on digital billboards across the UK on topics including mental health and Pride (specifically drag queen and activist Marsha P Johnson). I would never consider myself a poet, much less an artist, but I do try to be poetic in my turn of phrase. And why else would you be a writer if not to surprise and delight the reader? As the author Octavia Butler often reminded herself, “Make people think, feel and know. Make them feel, feel, feel.” My piece was accepted and displayed nationwide on digital billboards across the country. Here it is – A WORK IN PROGRESS Don’t let the past cast shadows over your future This rubble of regret jamming up your dream factory Instead, pour all of that you have felt, learned, endured Into a well Let it give weightlessness to your weary bag of bones Wash away the stubborn stains of nostalgia Flush apathy and acrimony from your fallible form Drown out the tick-tock of it’s-too-lateness You are a vessel forever altering its aspect to the sun Feel calm in knowing more from one day to the next Time has gifted you hard-earned experience Distilled you to your essence Every imperfection a mark of distinction Now listen out for the murmur of possibility Get ready to chase your joy Again and again… You are not the person you used to be, and that is how it should always be You see So on to your next New beginning Extended version: Congratulations also to artists Michel Onésio, Llum Canut, Sumuyya Khader and Jalieka Campbell among others.

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