STEREO. TYPE. 

By Luka Lesson

Poet and rapper Luka Lesson and Institute of non-violence have teamed up again to deliver a second poem and video: ‘Stereo. Type.’

The visuals for the poem premiered on Monday 22 March 2021, marking the International Day to End Racial Discrimination and National Harmony Week in Australia.

The words written and spoken by Luka align with our objectives, our mission and our values. We share Luka’s frustration around racism that is fueled by mainstream media and society without any responsibility or accountability for its impact on its target communities.

We invite you to keep this conversation going, work towards being #anti-racist every day and speak out against all types of racial violence.

The video is available for viewing and sharing on Facebook and YouTube.

 

What this collaboration with IoNV means to Luka?

What this collaboration with IoNV means to you, why release Stereo Type with us and what it means to have two poems released in collab with us, alignment with your values etc?

I believe that the inspiration that comes from witnessing a poem like this one can result in real action and positive change. By collaborating with IoNV, I am playing with how art is consumed and perceived, and how the observer can then turn into an active participant in the conversation by contacting IoNV and engaging with anti-racism work in the real world. I’m interested in seeing how the people who see my work can move from passively consuming art, to taking that next step to reach out, learn, engage and build. 

What this collaboration with Luka means to Hala?

What this collaboration with Luka means to you, why release Stereo Type and alignment with IoNV values ?

See I don’t care about your lyrics 

I mostly care about your spirit

our words are just vessels 

to help our souls grow coherent”

These words written and spoken by Luka highlight why CEO and Founder, Hala Abdelnour, approached him to collaborate with IoNV on issues that align with our objectives, our mission and our values. Luka is not afraid to be bold and to speak his truth, a truth that resonates with many people who have felt oppressed in one way or another by a system that is evermore detached from the human experience. 

Working in collaboration with like-minded individuals and professionals, IoNV hopes to support society and humanity as we return to our inherently non-violent essence.

STEREO. TYPE. 

By Luka Lesson

STEREO. TYPE. 

 

Before they lock you in a stereotype

speak words so deep 

they’re like burial rights

write lines that unite 

every side of the fight

so when you speak 

all they get is your 

 

STEREO.      TYPE.

 

See I don’t care about your lyrics 

I mostly care about your spirit

our words are just vessels 

to help our souls grow coherent 

 

That’s why plastic conversations 

just keep people in their places

boxes and cages

staying locked in a maze

 

These days 

a raised eyebrow in suspicion

can draw a straight line to a conviction 

 

A country so conditioned by racism

those most judged by skin colour 

and appearance

end up filling up our prisons 

 

And we’re pissed off 

when a shock-jock gets paid 

just to be a bigot

but our taxes have been paying for the same shit 

since the beginning

 

They pigeon hole us into body types

traditional dress 

sexual preference

or exotic sound bytes 

and they use every media stereotype 

to amplify their agenda 

as their political stereo mic 

 

So we’re stuck in the battle of the headlines

on the war of the magazine shelf 

they’ve taught us to see each other 

as caricatures of our real selves

 

From Cronulla to the Herald 

Channel 7 – the whole cartel 

the media mafia

making sure News Corp 

gets the sell

 

But the complexity of our lives 

doesn’t fit in their headlines

so they need bite-sized pieces of our bodies 

to feed on between dinner and bedtime 

 

So when we see each other on the street 

those headlines

in our head sets

become headnotes

become death stares

become death threats

become the next steps 

towards our best friends’ necks 

becoming breathless 

 

To divide and conquer 

we need a clear set of enemies

falsified identities

combined with our short term memories

 

They poison our communities 

to keep us preoccupied

so while we’re fighting each other 

– more land gets occupied

 

More services are cut

Adani gets up

another open cut mine 

another refugee gets stuck 

 

That’s why we need to take back the narrative

speak our own languages

keep our identities multifaceted

don’t simplify it for their arrogance

 

You are not all savages 

you are not all parodies 

to be used as their front page 

embarrassments

 

So before they lock you in a stereotype

speak words so deep 

they’re like burial rights

write lines that unite 

every side of the fight

so when we speak 

all they get is our

 

STEREO.       TYPE. 

Commentary on the lyrics

Hala's commentary on lyrics

Ever since the murder of George Floyd in the United States in May 2020, the world has shifted its energy and more of us are demanding justice and equality for all - we are saying Enough is Enough! We are marching for in the streets and creating new ways of doing business that defies the ancient and outdated patriarchal structures of the colonial world. 

 

We, at IoNV, acknowledge that the experiences of systemic racism are intertwined with the use and experience of family and domestic violence (FDV). One of our key focus points in the way we approach the work is to explore and adopt an intersectional feminist framework to intervention and prevention programs. This is crucial to think about, considering that FDV can result in police and criminal justice engagement, as well as other representatives of government and non-government institutions. When these institutions are structurally embedded in a colonial setting and mindset, they inevitably pose a threat to members of the community that have been traumatised and oppressed by them intergenerationally. 

 

A country so conditioned by racism

those most judged by skin colour 

and appearance

end up filling up our prisons” 

 

It is our duty as participating members of this society, who benefit from its systems, to correct our processes, to engage and collaborate evenly across all groups, and to simply be non-violent.

Luka's commentary on lyrics

This poem is about defiance. The people are fed up. Those of us who have seen our cultures, sexualities and religions get used as fodder in order to cause a stir and sell newspapers are completely sick of it. It causes deep trauma, separates us from each other, and harms our communities in both the long and short-term. This piece is about the people being able to ‘take back the narrative’ and build a better world that we know is possible.