West Bank Open Mic to feature Dua Saleh

Augsburg College student and interdisciplinary arts performer to share stage with other participants for an evening of sharing art.

Franki Hanke, Senior Reporter

Born in Kassala, Sudan, Dua Saleh traces her lineage back to the Tunjur Tribe of the Darfur region. In the 1990’s, her family fled to the United States as political refugees to eventually find a home in the Rondo Neighborhood of St. Paul. Surrounded by a young life charged with political messages and threat, Saleh grew a curiosity for systemic oppression and a bold resistance to marginalization.

These experiences fueled an interest and appreciation for the power of an organized people, so it came naturally that she would step into leadership and organizational roles in the NAACP St. Paul Youth and Collegiate Branch, Pan Afrikan Student Union, and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change as well as MPIRG and LGBTQIA Student Services at Augsburg College where she majors in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality studies.

Her life and background fuel her writing.

“Writing has helped me get through some of the most complex experiences of my life,” she said. “Every time I write, I digest a part of my lived experience. I learn more about myself and about the emotions that I’ve felt in a more profound way.”

Dec 15, at 7:00 p.m, Saleh will take the stage as the featured artist at the West Bank Open Mic hosted by Cedar Commons in Minneapolis.

West Bank Open Mic is a collaborative organization between Augsburg’s Cedar Commons and Teen Voice. They hold open mics bi-weekly to highlight young voices.

For Saleh, the opportunity of the open mic night is an intimate one.

“My art is about sharing parts of myself with the world and hoping people care enough to pay attention,” she said.

Alongside Saleh, anyone else is free to attend and share on the open mic and engage in the artistic conversations facilitated around the featured artist. Otherwise, they are invited to join the crowd.