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Podcast: "I worry about the weight on young people feeling they have to fix the world"

Peterborough poet Charley Genever is the latest guest on our Peterborough Natters podcast.
Charley Genever
Charley Genever is the latest subject of our Peterborough Natters podcast. Photo: John Baker

In an interesting chat conducted at Bean Around Coffee on Cathedral Square, Charley spoke about residency at Metal for this month, a love/hate relationship with fashion and some of the messages contained within it, and a dream of creating 'wearable poetry'.

As part of her work with young people Charley has a strong vantage point from where to comment on how they are coping in 2020, Covid19 or not.

"When asked about how they're getting on, Charley said: "Most people have adapted well but there was definitely a sense of worry. For most students who I would normally have stopped tutoring by now I've kept in touch, just in case they have to do more exams.

"When I was younger I used online chatrooms to find people more like me, and it's easier to connect through social media now.

"But it's also very hard in terms of the things going on in the world - coronavirus, Black Lives Matters, the educational issues, Lebanon...it feels like we're reaching a peak and I worry that the weight of young people feeling that they have to fix it iall s very tough."

Just before lockdown Charley had been working on a debut one-woman show called Groom: "It concentrates on how women navigate shame in different ways, through intimate relationships, through grooming and beauty, make up, smear tests, and other things that explore how women feel shame in their bodies.

"I'm really proud of it actually. It's gone on the back-burner during lockdown while we can't have live events but it really pushed me in new ways. 

"For example, I lip-sync to some Little Mix songs, I play around with sounds  - and it's quite experimental.  If you'd told me 5-10 years ago that I was going to make something like that I wouldn't have believed you, and I'm looking forward to finishing it." 

During the chat with Peterborough Matters chief reporter John Baker Charley also spoke about other ongoing projects including 42 Words, Peterborough in the coronavirus, and whether the city needs more voices.

Take a listen below