Interview with Yasmin Ayhan

By Estefany T. Angel

Walls covered with pictures and memories of countries and foreign smiles, a cat with the print of a leopard and the jungle in its eyes, and an eloquent and direct Muslim woman with the strength of an army in her speech. The poet Yasmin Ayhan, aka Yasmin Poesy, showed us her home and shared with Pipeline Magazine an evening of reminiscence, poetry, activisms, and religion.

Born and raised in Germany with Turkish blood, the 23 years old artist started her journey with prose and rhyme in her teenage years. She remembers vividly how deep her first encounter with poetry was and how firmly she felt, almost like destiny, that she wanted to put down on paper her own words, and how different she felt while growing up in Germany with a middle east background.

Even though her strong and revolutionary spirit pushed her to write her first lines about politics at the age of 14, was at an earlier age when Yasmin´s moral was awakened, and when she learned that her voice could amplify the voices of those who were being attacked, stigmatized and poorly treated.

Later she started to involve herself in different causes, trying to give voice to Muslim communities, Hijabis dealing with discrimination, and several social events and cultural groups, that always lacked support and representation in the western world.

While the young artist emphasized the importance of political and social acknowledgment of concerning situations in the world, she recognizes the value of keeping the spirit positive with content and spaces that helps to the relief and healing of oneself as well.

Her efforts to support this are displayed through her Stand Up-comedy acts, where she mixes poetry with comedy, or with one of her many poems about love, intimate feelings, and thoughts that sometimes cross her mind.

In addition, her latest work called „How many times I have cried“ presents a collection of relatable verses, and triggering experiences lived by the artist, and experiences that she knows many have closely encountered too. This collection of moments aims to give the artist and the readers, an opportunity for self-contemplation and emotional catharsis.

We asked the Muslim artist the relationship with her poetry and religion, and while she explains the notorious role of poesy and prose in Islam culture, their historic texts, and The Quran; when it comes to her art, and while maintaining a strong bond with God and her beliefs, the poet tries to be inclusive with her creations and content, giving to her readers and followers, a familiar space where everyone is welcome and people can relate to each other, no matter the cultural or religious background.

Regardless of if it is through her incredible personal verses, Stand-up comedy sessions or public debates, the outspoken 23 year old female poet keeps creating her artistic and personal path; while parallel giving a strong voice to her cultural roots, human rights causes, hijabis, and women in a still patriarchal world. These challenges have shaped her strong and unique voice, and have given her art a deeper meaning.