Jemima Khalli

:: AGE



Hanoi, Vietnam




i’m learning and growing. i’m understanding my place in the world as a young, black woman


As a womxn, why do you think it is important to create?

creating is questioning. digging deeper. it’s important to question the space around you. taking everything in. it’s important to question yourself. i create to question things and to discover things. there’s words buried in my thoughts and they come out when I write. it’s important to create because you gain a better understanding of self.

What has been your proudest moment as an artist/creative?

there’s always been certain thoughts i didn’t want to bring through in my writing. didn’t want people to see. i eventually moved past that and welcomed them as they come. i’m getting there.

How do you define love?

i look at the people closest to me. i look at them and i think ‘wow. you exist. you’re here with me. existing in this world.’ that’s love.

What is the space that you like to create in?

i’d like to think i could create in most physically spaces given that my mind was engaged. I say ‘most physically spaces’ because I don’t cope well with clutter.

What do you like to listen to while you create?

this depends on the creative stage i am at. i can’t write as in I can’t put pen to paper in a coherent way while listening to music. i can plan ideas and write thoughts down to music. sometimes i really need to be listening to something. i do like to listen to laura marling and there’s an album called ‘the universe smiles upon you’ by khruangbin that I love.

What is your earliest memory of making art?

it was in primary school. I must have been nine years old. two of my friends and I made a magazine. I can’t remember how long we spent on it but it felt like two/three months. i forgot about this until i saw this question.

Do you have any words of advice for young womxn/artist/creators out there?

surround yourself with other creators. it’s easy to believe that you have to isolate yourself in order to create something. sharing your work and speaking to other people is an incredible way of furthering yourself as an artist.

What social issues do you care about most?

i can’t answer this question because everything i care about is intertwined. locked. i can’t separate them. it’s not plausible for me to do so. race, gender, sex, the environment. none can be deemed more important than another for me because each issue can’t be seen in isolation.  

What could you not live without?

this is a bit embarrassing but at the moment I can’t live with eggs. i’m craving eggs now.

How do you make time to create?

this is tricky. a creative person is always creating something. i don’t think you need to say ‘ok, I’m going to make time to create now’. for me, that’s the wrong way to think. you do need to be disciplined though…

How does your mental health affect your work?

my work affects my mental health. it engages all part of me.

Your poetry is heartbreakingly beautiful. The way you use words to weave together heritage, ancestors, and loss universally connects us to our roots. Your poems are magic. Thank you for inspiring us all to remember and honor where we come from.