Smashing It

Smashing It

Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen

Edited by

9781908906403 September 2019 Paperback 240pp

About the Book

Longlisted for the People’s Book Prize

Smashing It celebrates the exceptional works and words of 31 leading working-class artists in Britain. Featuring writing, lyrics and images by Wiley, Maxine Peake, Malorie Blackman, Riz Ahmed and many more, it also includes reflections from artists on how class has impacted their working lives.

Come behind the scenes to find out how they overcame obstacles – from the financial to the philosophical – to forge careers in the arts and get inspiration to launch your own project. Smashing It empowers those who will be a part of tomorrow’s bigger picture.

Contributors: Riz Ahmed, Sabeena Akhtar, Travis Alabanza, Anthony Anaxagorou, Raymond Antrobus, Malorie Blackman, Michaela Coel, Emma Dennis-Edwards, Maureen Duffy, Jenni Fagan, Marvell Fayose, Salena Godden, Hassan Hajjaj, Omar Hamdi, Kerry Hudson, Rabiah Hussain, Fran Lock, David Loumgair, Lisa Luxx, Paul McVeigh, Bridget Minamore, Courttia Newland, Aakash Odedra, Maxine Peake, Rebecca Strickson, Chimene Suleyman, Joelle Taylor, Monsay Whitney, Wiley, Madani Younis.

About the Contributors

Sabrina Mahfouz is a British Egyptian playwright, poet and screenwriter. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the recipient of the 2018 King’s Alumni Arts and Culture Award, a Sky Arts Academy Award for Poetry and a Fringe First Award. Mahfouz is currently writing the biopic of legendary ‘Godfather of Grime’, Wiley, for Pulse Films. She is co-founder of the Critics of Colour Collective, which helps ensure fairer representation in UK arts criticism. Mahfouz is the editor of Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen and The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, which was a Guardian Book of the Year and selected for Emma Watson’s feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf. Mahfouz has also published eight works of drama with Bloomsbury. She lives in London.

→ Author Website


‘An inspiring book full of fight, fire and light. Absolutely necessary for anyone interested in the arts to devour these pages to learn, create, laugh and, obviously, smash it.'
Kae Tempest

‘Empowering ... the bible for the next generation of artists from marginalised backgrounds.'
Nikesh Shukla

‘Incredible ... warmth and wit radiate through these pages. Smashing It offers urgent inspiration for those from working class backgrounds and a revelatory read for those who aren’t. A must-read.’
Yomi Adegoke