Young N.S. artist's message about sexualized violence goes viral
Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016 6:21PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 11, 2016 10:47AM ADT
A young Nova Scotia artist is in the spotlight after a video of her spoken word poetry about sexualized violence has gone viral.
Kayley Dixon is only 14-years-old, but the lines from her spoken word poem are wise beyond her years.
Dixon performed ‘A Touch of Sexual Assault’ at a provincial funding announcement last Monday. Since then, the video has received over 15 million views online and has struck a nerve with many about the commonplace realities of sexual assault.
“In my past I've been cat called. When I was 12 years old I've been purred at by guys on a basketball court and really, you don’t really expect to hear that from someone who is 12. That’s what I was doing with my spoken word, I was voicing that and the realities of being a young girl,” says Dixon.
That experience, and the poem, has resonated far beyond the halls of John Martin Junior High School in Dartmouth, leading to the grade nine student's first trip to see government in action.
Praise for Dixon's poem has reached the Nova Scotia Legislature. Tuesday afternoon, community services minister Joanne Bernard recognized the teen in the house.
“She brought clarity and truth about sexual assault through the eyes of a young woman,” says Bernard.
Dixon says she is surprised by the attention her poem has received.
“I was not expecting any of this to come out of that,” says Dixon.
Dixon is a part of Youth Art Connection, a program aimed at working with youth to create lasting positive change. Her coaches there were moved by poetry.
“I think it’s really interesting that someone so young can write something so experienced and yeah, I hear it every time and I cry,” says Shevy Price, artistic coach.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelly Linehan