Spoken word is a form of spoken poetry with experiential, political or satirical elements. Without excluding the interaction with other art forms – music, theatre, dance – it focuses on the words themselves, their dynamics, the tone of voice, gestures and expressions that accompany the living utterance. It draws its roots from gospel, blues, jazz, soul, the poetry of the Beat Generation, the Harlem Renaissance movement and the particular blend of poetic, political and prophetic discourse that developed in the 1960s in New York’s black neighborhoods. At the crossroads of black music, the black community’s struggle for equal rights (“I Have A Dream”), poetry and prosaic everyday speech, it has been the basis on which rap has been shaped since the 1970s, starting with iconic artists (The Watts Prophets, The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, Wanda Coleman). It is now a global and diverse artistic medium of expression.
On Thursday 23 March, in the heart of the multicultural Kypseli, a multilingual “open mic” evening is organized, the first attempt to adapt this expressive medium to the Athenian and Greek conditions – with the perspective and hope that many other evenings will follow and thus create a space where people from different groups, different countries, with different languages, will be able to unite around this art form.
Those who want to participate should come half an hour before the start time (19:30) and add their name to the list of participants. Each act can last up to 5 minutes.
A brief review of the history of spoken word: www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4HV3t1nZgo&ab_channel=ApplesandSnakes
Some iconic figures in the art of spoken word:
Gil Scott-Heron / www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS3QOtbW4m0&t=36s&ab_channel=CrinanCampbell
Dean Atta / www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqK4U47JvWI&ab_channel=ApplesandSnakes
Benjamin Zephaniai / www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAGzUQxnvrk&ab_channel=ThePoetrySociety
Allen Ginsberg / www.youtube.com/watch?v=__W41tlyJNQ&ab_channel=TodPolson