Queuing outside Ace Hotel to see Rizzle Kicks is something that should only be done if you’re 14 and it's summer 2012. But thankfully there are some exceptions, one being the event showcased by CALM last Thursday, Save the Male. The night was made up of performances from a number of young poets alongside music from London-based band Hugh, with the purpose of raising awareness of male suicide.
Hosted by Jordan Stephens (one half of Rizzle Kicks) and Cecilia Knapp (CALM ambassador and poet), the night opened with a stand out poetry performance from a GCSE student. He addressed the pressures faced by teens and the need young men have to live up to misconstrued ideas of masculinity.
A performance from Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi, resonated with the whole room. He dealt with issues of race, poverty and gang violence from a place of understanding, that spoke directly to the young men in the audience.
Although male suicide wasn’t expressly spoken of during the night, no-one shied away from the hard hitting issues men and boys face that can lead to suicidal thoughts. Topics concerning hypermasculinity, isolation and the pressures caused by social media were broached in an open and honest way, encapsulating the approach society needs to take in order to tackle such a tragic and commonplace cause of death.
For more information, head over to CALM here.